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ALBUM REVIEW: Beyoncé – I Am…Sasha Fierce

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It’s hard to tell exactly what Beyoncé Knowles is trying to prove anymore. The hardest-working woman in music is in no danger of going anywhere, and there’s an aura of glamour surrounding her that can only be described as “star power.” Still, despite the series of hits she’s put on the charts, her full catalogue of music is the least appealing thing about her.On I Am… Sasha Fierce [Music World/Columbia], Beyoncé has chosen to try the “split personality” gimmick (which has never worked for anyone) and her rigid adherence to the flawed concept was not a good start. Sequencing the album with the ballads up front and the dance tracks at the end was the first mistake; filling the album with songs that aren’t very good was the second. The best of the slower material, “Halo,” would’ve had a lot more impact as a powerful closer and “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” could’ve acted as a fun jumping-off point. Instead, neither track comes along at its natural time, making it that much easier to just skip past the less interesting material. The borderline-ridiculous “Ave Maria” is sure to be a frequent casualty.Some will find “If I Were A Boy” cute for a few weeks, but the melodramatic victim mentality kills any longevity. On past girl-power anthems like “Irreplaceable” or “Bills, Bills, Bills,” Bonnie took charge and bent disobedient men to her will. The woman on “If I Were a Boy” would rather just cry and imagine being empowered; where’s the fun in that? When Bey’s sassy evil-twin, Sasha Fierce, steps in to represent the independent woman we all know and love, things are only marginally better. “Diva” finds Beyoncé really acting like a boy (a thug at that) and, like most of the other dance songs, it’s something decent to bounce to at least. While the second half of the disc isn’t amazing either, it’s that much harder to care about a drab affair like “Disappear” with images of Beyoncé hot-stepping around your brain in a onesie and a gauntlet.Admittedly, it isn’t going to matter much what the album sounds like since it’s really just another commercial for the Beyoncé brand anyway. The worst of it will get scrapped when it’s time to plan her next set-list, so as long as she doesn’t forget that “Single Ladies” routine, then we’ll forget most of I Am… Sasha Fierce. Deal?Single Ladies – Beyonce*Note: We did check out the deluxe edition but the few extra songs don’t help anything. If they were any good to being with, they wouldn’t be Bonus Tracks.

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