Rating: 3/5

By: Megan Lee

After seven pop and R&B albums, Beyoncé has tackled the world of country. While It is common for artists to navigate through new genres throughout their career, Beyoncé has taken her music to a new and exciting place. 

Beyoncé’s newest album COWBOY CARTER contains a collection of tracks aimed to pay respect to minorities within country music. While nowhere near as poppy as her previous albums, COWBOY CARTER maintains the upbeat vibe of Beyoncé’s style. 

I admire Beyoncé’s ability to convey her own experiences while still connecting back to her listeners through heartwarming ballads like “16 CARRIAGES” and uplifting, danceable songs like “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM.The strength of Beyoncé’s voice also holds firm throughout the course of each song, especially that rasp in her voice she is known for. Beyoncé does an excellent job of taking traditional country music and putting her own spin on it. In her rendition of Dolly Parton’s 1973 hit “Jolene,” In it, Beyoncé adds her own lyrics that criticize gender stereotypes while still honoring Parton. 

I find it interesting that Beyoncé did not take a standard approach to the country style. Instead, she uses the genre to acknowledge the country artists that came before her and relay the struggles she has faced as a woman of color in country music. However, classifying the entire album as country may have been a stretch, especially as most of the tracks have a pop feel with only hints of country elements. Songs like “BODYGUARDand “LEVII’S JEANShave a pop sound that does not match the overall country genre of the album. While I applaud Beyoncé for taking such a risk with her shift to country, I wish the album pushed the country side of her voice more. 

Beyoncé has done a great job producing a strong new album, one I am sure will win her a fair share of awards and praise. However, I hope to see her transition back into her R&B roots throughout the rest of her iconic career.