Review: Beyoncé, ‘4’

Review: Beyoncé, ‘4’: Aidin Vaziri | By revealing a split personality on her previous album, 2008’s hot and cold “I Am … Sasha Fierce,” Beyoncé left fans divided. There will be no such problem with the follow-up, “4,” a straightforward collection of sleek R&B ballads dealing exclusively with heartbreak, underachieving men and the unbreakable women who fall for them. Beyoncé, whose marriage to Jay-Z is in reality just fine, is out to impress that she has grown up, ditching her domineering father and moving beyond VIP rooms, which means the record opens with the purposeful lighter lifter “1+1” and is rounded out with a genuine Diane Warren lament, “I Was Here.” There are some sparks in the form of the skittish electropop single “Run the World (Girls),” epic “Countdown” and the Kanye West-produced “Party,” an easy-grooving jam that features OutKast rapper Andre 3000. But for the most part, this is Beyoncé slipping on the silk robe, grabbing her copy of “State of Wonder” off the shelf and settling in for the night.

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