The Limits of Bombast: Reviewing Beyoncé’s ‘4’

Beyoncé’s new album fascinates me because rather than deepen, complicate, and expand her sound as it is intended to, it really acts as a textbook example of the limits of bombast.

Since B’Day she has decided, for whatever reason, that every song no matter what the genre, theme, or tempo deserves to get the same vocal treatment – loud with occassional growls that are intended to convey conviction but really just scream effort*. But it didn’t really matter much before because she was singing songs that didn’t have any real meat to them anyway.

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Whitney 2.0

With the release of this single, “Where You At,” I think it’s clear that Jennifer Hudson is Clive’s new Whitney.

This is awful in every single way. It’s the worst kind of manipulative pop schlock, all sweeping instrumentation, pointless crescendos, and even more pointlessly held notes.

We get it. Jennifer Hudson has a powerful voice.

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