There’s a big LOL to be had when you get to track 8 of Beyoncé’s latest album “4” and she suddenly declares “Bring the beat in!” This, after 27 minutes of ballads and mid-tempo strolls. What, NOW? Are you sure? You were doing so well!
And with all the bouncy bangers confined to the last few tracks, we’re left with an album that’s going out of its way to come across as stately and polished. Some find Beyoncé’s vocal (and physical) perfection cold and distancing, but I only feel the sort of cold distance I might about, say, a 40ft golden statue of Athena. Why worry that you’re never going to get close to it, when you can stand and enjoy the beauty?
It’s not as though there isn’t anything thats messily heartfelt either. Listen to ‘I Miss You’, a squelchy slice of organic heartbreak that peters sadly away before the 3 minute mark, or ‘Love On Top’, with its multiple orgasm of concatenated key changes the likes of which we haven’t heard since Eternal hooked up with Bebe Winans.
So if Beyoncé sampled Diplo for her big album launch track, but Nicola Roberts actually got him to co-write and produce hers, that makes Nicola the bigger global superstar, with the most clout, right? RIGHT? The logic of pop has spoken.
Nas is back on form! Nas is sounding real again! That’s what they’re saying. Well fuck them, they’re silly. Nas has been on form right through his last few albums, and the idea of realness bores me. This is just a great, great track, that makes me do a funny little dance.
And this is also very much on the brilliance/funny little dance axis:
ANIMAL OF THE MONTH:
It is the dogs. The dogs who fight crime in this glorious video. I wish they were my friends.