(Please read the full Nov. 18th music review under the “entertainment” section)
I could not wait to hear this album. I bent over backwards to make sure I got to the store today to get this album. After hearing the gold that was “If I Were a Boy” and “Single Ladies”, I just knew that “I Am… Sasha Fierce” would be a masterpiece. Beyonce` failed me. I am really disappointed. I feel like I don’t have a new album to listen to. I found myself listening to “Dangerously in Love” and “B’day” to get my Beyonce` fix. I loved the “I Am” disc, and I think any REAL Beyonce` fan will enjoy it because Bee Bee was very open with us. The material on the “I Am” disc is intimate, tender, warm and is sooooo creative and symbolic. You (and I’m only talking to REAL Bee Bee fans here) will feel very connected with her after listening to “I Am.” That’s why I feel the fans will love it, because we want to be connected to OUR diva. For me, “I Am” solidified and affirmed what I thought I knew about Beyonce`, the person and the soul. The “Sasha Fierce” disc, however, disproved everything I thought I knew about Beyonce` “the stage persona” and made me question what Beyonce` is on in general.
On the album, I expected Sasha to be what I saw on stage- feisty and commanding, yet respectable and honorable (Why people think feisty and elegant can’t go together, I don’t understand). Sasha was instead an uncreative, skanky ghetto swamp-thing I didn’t recognize. Sasha was indeed “too much, too big and didn’t fit.” Sasha lacked class, elegance and was far from lady like. There was nothing demure about her. I hated her. The material was just plain whack and went against everything that makes Beyonce` a great artist. It also went against everything Beyonce` has used to build her great P.R. image, like her poise and her “clean-cut” aura. She made her herself look slightly hypocritical as well, cursing several times on the album when she runs around saying she doesn’t curse in interviews. The biggest offense was saying “I’m that bitch” on “Ego.” I shook my head in disbelief and irritation. There are so many reasons why that is out of line. I am later going to write something about the significant cultural context that her actions have, but for right now, I’m just going to say that calling yourself a bitch is a general major offense, but it’s even more of an issue when you are considered to be a role model and symbol of feminism. Beyonce` has always been very aware of the fact that she is admired by many young women and that people are influenced by her. She’s always appeared to take it very seriously and delicately, but on “Sasha Fierce” it seemed like she forgot about that or didn’t care. I understand that Sasha was supposed to be edgy, bold and aggressive, but there’s ways to do that and still keep an aura of class. Furthermore, with expletives on the album, I wondered “when did you become THAT artist?” The artist where I can’t play your album freely in any setting without having to give disclaimers or sensor you? When did that happen?
For a moment I felt duped and played by Beyonce`. I was thinking “what is this ish? Are you really trying to pass off this trash as artwork? You can do better than this and you know it- and yet…you didn’t. Why? How dare you be so lazy with this disc as if there isn’t enough mediocrity in the music industry today. As if you aren’t one of the few greats we have in today’s music. Get outta here with this.” In promo interviews for the album, Bee Bee said that the “Sasha Fierce” disc was “for the fans that like the up-tempo work.” Yeah, I can see that. “Sasha Fierce” is for the fans that really don’t care to see Bee’s reflective, revealing or artistic side. They aren’t concerned with art or the purity of music, they just wanna dance, and I suppose that’s okay to appeal to that fan base. When you’re trying to keep all your fan eggs in your basket, it’s smart. The problem with that however, is that the ones that “just wanna dance” are fickle and will move on to something else when they get bored. They like you when they feel like it- love you one day, hate on you the next. They bootleg your albums. They don’t come to concerts. They hate on Destiny’s Child. They don’t love you enough to call you out on your b.s. like I am right now, and push you for greatness. They don’t care about keeping the integrity of your legacy intact or helping you rise to iconic status. They don’t deserve their own disc.
This album was also a huge disappointment because it didn’t fill the void left by the somewhat lacking “B’day”. “B’day” was good, but not outstanding. It was not her best work. The problem with B’day is that even though it was it fairly experimental and had a lot of aggressive feministic energy (which I always love), it was JUST A DANCE record. Up-tempo or dance songs don’t give a lot of room to show off vocal ability and strong lyrics lose attention competing with catchy music. Another issue with dance records is that they’re often TOO contemporary and current to be applicable or listened to later on. I can still listen to “Dangerously in Love” NOW, in its entirety and it’s six years later. “DIL” is a timeless album. I also understand that sometimes an artist doesn’t feel like being “artistic” and just wants to have a “fun” song. An occasional “fun” song is okay, but not an entire of album of “fun” songs, like on the “Sasha Fierce” disc. Furthermore, I understand you weren’t tryna be “deep” on the second disc, but must it be COMPLETELY brainless?? I feel like an AMAZING concept (the alter-ego thing) was wasted on disc 2 and was underdeveloped. Beyonce` needs to sit back and regroup. Go back to the drawing board. Look at “DIL.” Take the best elements of each solo effort and the Destiny’s Child material and EXPOUND. GROW. Live to your potential, you’ve got 2 much not 2. This “legacy” thing is only going to happen if you improve with every album. Every artist is entitled to at least 2 sucky albums; you’ve had your two. NOW CLEAN IT UP!