Albums to watch




Fourth solo album of R'n'B and pop from the former Destiny's Child

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Sony Jive
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  1. 9.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    In the steel cage match that is modern-day female pop music, the champion from here on out is Beyoncé
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  2. 8.5 |   Beats Per Minute

    Her voice is the best it has ever been
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  3. 8.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    As far as pop music is concerned, Beyoncé is very nearly without peer
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  4. 8.0 |   music OMH

    We should be happy that a superstar is still committed to delivering quality LPs in an environment that frowns upon such commercially unwarranted traditions, but we should be especially grateful that that superstar is Beyoncé
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  5. 8.0 |   The Observer

    Her most accomplished album yet
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  6. 8.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    A subtle, stripped-down sound that suggests someone's been listening to Janelle Monae
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  7. 8.0 |   Pitchfork

    One of the world's biggest stars exploring her talent in ways few could've predicted
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  8. 8.0 |   Prefix

    You’d be hard pressed to find a big ticket R&B album quite as restless, tuneful and fearless this year
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  9. 8.0 |   Paste Magazine

    Beyoncé’s honeyed tones sashay through the melodies equal parts power-pop-torch, bright-light beacon and erotic invitation
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  10. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    There is a pall of self-consciousness hanging over some of the tracks here
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  11. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Overall 4 is a very strong record indeed. Print edition only

  12. 7.0 |   Under The Radar

    Her most personal and affecting album to date
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  13. 7.0 |   BBC

    Beyoncé slips from flirty to fragile to fabulous, and is in terrific voice throughout, reminding us that when she opens up there's no-one else in the game
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  14. 7.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Beyoncé's voice is ripe and, well, full-bodied
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  15. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    4 might be her strangest record
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  16. 6.7 |   A.V. Club

    Beyoncé’s artistic maturation on 4 features some growing pains, but the album’s polish and her poise go a long way toward masking those flaws
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  17. 6.7 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    If 4 is a commercial failure, lay the blame on lead-single “Run the World (Girls),” the nadir of Beyoncé’s oeuvre
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  18. 6.0 |   State

    For an artist who desperately wants to produce a great album, Beyoncé has still to deliver on her boundless self-belief
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  19. 6.0 |   Q

    Often beautiful but never venturing beyond established R&B horizons. Print edition only

  20. 6.0 |   Evening Standard

    Halfway through, the album transforms - out go the ballads, on come the glad-rags and in steps Beyoncé the party-starter. It's not a moment too soon
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  21. 6.0 |   PopMatters

    A welcome comeback for Beyoncé after the Sasha Fierce meltdown, full of silly ‘80s musical references and many of the strong vocal turns that made Sasha‘s banality such a frustrating reality
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  22. 6.0 |   The Quietus

    Beyoncé may be giving us more of the same here but a Beyoncé album that treads water is still a Beyoncé album
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  23. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    The highpoints offer hints of what it might have been: it's hard not to feel that what it might have been sounds better than what it is
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  24. 6.0 |   Scotland on Sunday

    Agreeably cheesy
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  25. 4.0 |   The Scotsman

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  26. 4.0 |   NME

    There’s the unmistakable sense of someone treading water
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  27. 4.0 |   The Independent

    Overall, the weaknesses far outnumber the strengths
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  28. 4.0 |

    Her most dour solo album to date
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  29. 2.0 |   No Ripcord

    4 is that rare thing: an R&B album with no soul
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