Release Date: Nov 18, 2008
Genre(s): Pop, R&B, Soul
Record label: Sony
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The singing, dancing, acting, power-coupling superhuman known as Beyoncé has held no-last-name-necessary status for almost a decade now. Yet somehow — against all the rules of our gotcha tabloid society — she steadfastly retains an old-fashioned, almost Garboesque mystery in her private life, granting only the occasional, pleasantly evasive interview. We are left to glean what we can from her songs and performances, which, though strikingly dynamic (only the dead of soul and lead of foot could resist smashes like ”Crazy in Love” and ”Irreplaceable”), remain oddly disconnected from Ms.
Beyoncé Knowles' third solo album has a pretty enticing pitch. Short enough to fit on one CD, it's nevertheless split over two. The second, ... Sasha Fierce, contains the usual pop-R&B, but the first is being sold as offering a rare insight into Knowles' real psyche: "I Am ... is about who I am ….
Has Beyoncé Knowles fallen off the top of the pop diva plateau? No. But has it – at the very least – kind of felt like she has? Yes. After popping out hit after hit with her former mega-successful pop-group, Destiny’s Child, at a rate that felt as though she never had more than two weeks off at a time, and producing two quick solo efforts that both brought her just as many No.
Review Summary: Sadly I Am…Sasha Fierce comes off as lesser than the sum of its parts. Everyone’s favorite Destiny’s Child and American gangsta wife has always had sort of a split personality: from the naïve singer from Dreamgirls to the vivacious lovestruck woman in “Crazy in Love” to the defiantly independent ex on “Irreplaceable,” Beyoncé has always been able to fit into many different personas. Her third solo record, I Am…Sasha Fierce takes Beyoncé’s image of herself to new heights, a two-CD affair that is divided according to different aspects of the diva’s personality.
In non-Deluxe Edition form, Beyoncé's third solo studio album is as concise as 2006's B'day, but it is divided into two discs as a way to emphasize the singer's distinct personalities. It's a gimmick, of course -- a flimsy one. Revealed through interviews in 2005, Sasha was said to be Beyoncé's "stage persona," an embodiment of the outgoing, aggressive, on-stage Beyoncé that doesn't necessarily represent the real Beyoncé.
The latest instalment in the Destiny Child corporation's bid for global entertainment industry domination moves on apace. Following movie appearances, solo spin-offs and make-up ranges is a double-disc opus introducing Lady B's 'crazy extrovert' alter ego Sasha Fierce. It's a high-concept moment involving one CD of Beyoncé singing soul-bearing ballads and another of wild clubtronica starring that crazy Sasha - the package available in a mind-boggling array of formats.
Advance buzz suggested that Beyoncé would use her new Sasha Fierce alter ego to explore some new musical tangents, which makes this uninspired double album all the more disappointing. Disc one, devoted to Beyoncé, is mostly plodding mid-tempo pop ballads stripped of most of the soul and R&B touches we associate with her. On the second disc, the Sasha Fierce pseudonym apparently just refers to uptempo club tracks, many of which sound suspiciously like selected rewrites of bangers from her last few outings.
Beyonce reps for singles with excellent single, not much moreBeyonce’s never been our most innovative R&B artist, she’s just been our best. So maybe the overused alter ego theme of I Am... Sasha Fierce might have been enlivened by her fiery presence alone (just think: we get twoof her!). But unfortunately, neither Beyonce nor her other half can salvage the limp and facile songwriting that covers both sides of this double LP.On the first disc (I Am), Knowles comes off helpless and as emotionally closed as ever.
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