Beyoncé may be gearing up to headline Glastonbury Festival this weekend, but on the 27th June, the former Destiny's Child star releases her fourth studio album, 4, and MTV.co.uk went down to the exclusive first listen of the LP to find out what all the fuss is about.
Despite the album leaking earlier this month, Queen B is back to her best on 4, with standout tracks including her next single, Best Thing I Never Had, Party featuring Andre 3000 and the beautiful ballad, I Was Here, displaying Bey's powerful vocals.
The 29-year old may have taken a short break from music, but Mrs. Jay-Z's new record proves that she is not planning to hang up her Queen of R&B crown just yet…
Beyoncé - '4' Track By Track Review
This is the perfect opener to Beyoncé 's fourth studio album, displaying Queen B at her best. Produced by Knowles and The-Dream, the guitar heavy ballad exposes a more vulnerable side to Bey as she pleads "make love to me". A classic stripped-back slow jam from the diva.
With it's throbbing beats, this Beyoncé and Jeff Bhasker produced tune proves why Bey is still the best in the business. Her vocals are flawless as she belts out notes we didn't even realise were possible.
I Miss You
Knowles has teamed up with Frank Ocean to pen this heartfelt ballad - produced by the Single Ladies star herself along with Shea Taylor. Her vocals are once again on point, as she delivers the track with raw emotion.
Best Thing I Never Had
We love this tune over at MTV and were more than happy when Queen B picked this track as her next single. Guaranteed to be a hit, this song reveals a more ferocious side to Beyoncé, with it's faster pace and aggressive piano backing. It's powerful, emotional and most of all, we can't get it out of our heads!
Party feat. Andre 3000
Produced by Kanye West, Knowles and Consequence, Beyoncé picks up the pace on this dance-floor filler, which is reminiscent of the music she was making with Destiny's Child back in the nineties...but of course, with that Sasha Fierce edge. Featuring the recognisable rapping of OutKast star, Andre 3000, this track is bound to be a monster hit. Oh, and Kanye even lends his vocals for a quick verse. A stand out tune on the album.
Rather Die Young
Beyoncé gets all mysterious on us with this dark, yet enchanting ballad. Produced by Queen B and Luke Steele, Knowles sings about dying young and leaving a legacy, even name dropping tragic actor James Dean at the start. Its eerie yet mesmerising, as Bey once again shows off her stunning vocals.
This stonking and dramatic track has a rather futuristic feel, as it opens with electric and enticing beats. Produced once again by Beyoncé and Taylor, Knowles shows off that big voice of hers, leaving us wanting more from the lady herself. We are hoping this is a single.
Love On Top
As soon as we heard this track, it screamed 'classic disco', making us want to chuck on our dancing shoes & hit the floor. Produced once again by Queen B and Taylor, it's catchy, more uptempo and differs from the rest of the album, showing Beyoncé's versatility. Very Jackson 5. We like!
This track samples the Boyz II Men song, Uhh Ahh, and sees Beyoncé teaming up with the likes of The-Dream, Taylor and Wayna Morris to write the song. It's faced-past, original and bound to be a massive tune in clubs across the globe. A refreshing break from the slower part of the LP.
End Of Time
Beyoncé yet again hooks-up with The-Dream for this track, as well as UK based DJ Switch, who is best known for his work with M.I.A and Santigold. The beat builds throughout the song, giving it a memorable sound and it's insanely catchy. Guaranteed to fill a dance floor near you soon.
I Was Here
Penned by Diane Warren and produced by One Republic's Ryan Tedder, Bey gets all reflective on us with this track, as it's about leaving a legacy. With it's simple backing music, the song really shows off Knowles' flawless and beautiful voice, singing lyrics like "I was here and will never be forgotten". A standout song on the album, we wont be forgetting Queen B in a hurry.
Run The World (Girls)
The first single to be taken from 4, Beyoncé explores a mixture of musical genres on this experimental track. Using a sample from Major Lazer's Pon de Floor, with the likes of The-Dream, Switch and Diplo playing a part in it's production. It's explosive beats and chanting chorus are bound to go down well at Glasto, although after listening to the whole album, we feel Queen B has so much more to offer.
By Joanne Dorken