Most helpful positive review
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Artful pop (Platinum update)
on 31 March 2014
On December 13, 2013, while engaged in a world tour, and without any pre-release announcement, Beyonce released her self-titled fifth solo studio album exclusively via the i-tunes store. In just 3 days, "Beyonce" sold 828,000 copies; music history was made, new industry rules were set. 14 songs, 17 videos, switching from uninhibited female empowerment to kitchen sink drama, it was not just merely a record by a megastar, but a statement, as everything about this dark and complex record suggested that, despite the eponymous title, Beyonce was demanding more of herself than just being Beyonce.
Co-written and co-produced by herself and A-listers such as Pharell and Timbaland, among others, with references to her competitive showbiz upbringing and acknowledgments of her beloved hometown, Beyonce continued the game of role-play she's so good at: pop diva, fashion icon, wife, mother, herself, Sasha Fierce, revolutionary, provocateur etc. Upon its first listenings, I felt that she delivered an album that is mature without being boring, bold without being forced, and entertaining without being a drag. Not a small feat in pop music where so rarely something exciting happens (Lana Del Rey's sublime "Born to die" comes to mind).
3 months later, sales are growing steadily, and it is considered by critics and fans alike as Beyonce's creative and commercial peak. Sonically brilliant, and visually magnificent, "Beyonce" is among her most entertaining and sexually explicit work, yet substantive in every respect, easily her most accomplished project to date. Honestly, there isn't one person I know who's not enthusiastic about this album, and if I'm overwhelmed by this, I would expect Beyonce herself to be so proud of such a bold, expansive body of work, and its well-deserved success. Where Lady GaGa failed with "Artpop", Beyonce triumphed with this.
This career highlight from one of showbiz's hard-working superstars is now available in a CD/Blu-ray set, in an obvious attempt to boost sales furthemore. Nothing new for those who've already got a copy of the initial release. Those who will purchase the new edition, will marvel at the astonishing details in picture, the crisp sound, and pristine production. Unless you're a completist, this edition is simply an alternative to the original CD+DVD set, featuring identical tracklist, artwork and packaging housed in a slipcase cover. Undoubtedly one of the best albums of 2013, and 2014, also.
5 million copies sold, and following her highly profitable Mrs. Carter World Tour, the unstoppable Beyonce is back with this special limited edition box set of her record-breaking, self-titled conceptual opus. It features a live DVD with 10 performances, plus artist commentary; an extra CD with 2 brand new songs ("7/11" and "Ring off"), and 4 remixes (including the remix of B's song for H&M, "Standing on the sun"); and a mini version of the official 2015 Beyonce calendar. The original CD+DVD are still here, making this a pristine package that truly lives up to its "platinum" status, which seems to have become synonym with Beyonce. Whoever dismissed the album as another paint-by-numbers record, certainly has missed the point of one of the greatest pop records about freedom to express sexuality, to be imperfect, and to enjoy themselves (a notion further enhanced by the new, so very different for B's normal niveau, video for "7/11"). Those who have bought the original version of "Beyonce" are going to be frustrated, but this is a spectacular repackage that really has to be bought. I was going to slay Bey for shameless cash in, but this is simply too good to miss.