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When you’re a diva you can get away with donning a robotic glove and attempting a mid-career diversion into misguided conceptual projects. And Beyonce is the diva, even if her alter ego Sasha Fierce is more of a “hustler.”

On her third solo album, Beyonce gets one disc to sing her ballads and gives Fierce, her feisty persona, one of her own. Confused? Well, join the club. Or better yet, go to the club if you want to hear Fierce at her bumpin’ best.

In an iTunes era, the notion of an “album” has been rendered almost irrelevant so we can excuse this failed concept when individually, some of the tracks are brilliant. Beyonce’s vocal performance in “If I Were a Boy” is passionate and flawless, and look out for “Halo.”

Meanwhile Sasha Fierce, the naughty to Beyonce’s nice, experiments with techno and rap, with “Diva” and the Destiny’s Child-esque “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” the standouts, but comes up short with some bland lyrics. On the dance floor, though, expect Sasha to be fierce this winter, and Beyonce’s ballads to warm icy hearts.

By Cam Graham


“I Am... Sasha Fierce”

Label: Columbia

Genre: R&B, pop

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