Since Destiny’s Child, I have not really been a fan of Beyonce. It may be an unfair bias and judgment on my part, but I always found Beyonce to be a mediocre pop artist and mediocre soul singer. I found her material to be safe and calculated. Rarely did I feel the sincerity in her music that I found in her contemporaries. It is not that I have anything against her music. I just found myself uninspired to spend my money on it.
Inspired by music documentaries and the telling of an artist’s journey from humble beginnings to superstardom, I was intrigued and curious to know how Beyonce rose to fame and deals with fame. When the HBO biography came out I watched that. There was one scene where Beyonce was in the studio recording a personal song after firing her father who used to be her manager. The song had so much heart, honesty and emotion that I was able to see a different side to Beyonce. This vulnerability in her voice helped me to see Beyonce in a light that I had not seen her before.
So when her fifth record entitled “Beyonce” was released, combined with the fact that this release was so popular it crashed iTunes servers, I chose to jump into my first Beyonce record.
I first scanned through the tracks and then listened to each one. From the raw honest vulnerability of Pretty Hurts to the indie sounding yet incredibly fresh and innovative drum programming on Ghost, I could not help but find my attitudes shaken by what I had heard. This record is an R&B classic!
Clearly Beyonce did not care about writing pop hits and wanted to write something for herself. At the same time, she did not allow the album to become so self-indulgent that it would not translate to the listener. There is so much here for a listener to sink his/her teeth into. In fact, I have had the record now for well over a month and I play at least a few tracks every day.
I called the record a classic R&B album, yet in so many ways it pushes the envelope of R&B to a new echelon where R&B is edgy, atmospheric and futuristic. I now see Beyonce in a new light, moving from the pop hooks of “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”, to telling the music industry to put a cork in it because Beyonce can do whatever she likes. Like it or lump it, this pop diva has shaken things up and I like it a lot.
Since 1994, Rishi Gerald, founder and CEO of RishiVision and entrepreneurial coach, has empowered thousands of businesses. Rishi has an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurial studies and a BBA in accounting. He has spent nearly twenty years coaching, consulting, managing and supporting thousands of businesses from new startups to active global leaders.