Today was the official release date of Beyoncé's latest album, 4.
I am a big Beyoncé fan and was lucky enough to see her Live at the O2 in London during her 'I Am . . .' world tour.
If you have not already done so, you should definitely set aside time to watch the accompanying documentary, following her throughout this tour. During which it becomes all too apparent that, although night after night she was performing her heart out, by the end it was just not in it 100% and Beyoncé's alter ego, 'Sasha Fierce' was really just that, her alter ego.
In the years since, speculation has swirled as to whether she would return to the music scene or settle down and start a family with Hip-Hop heavyweight, husband Jay-Z. It was rumoured that she would never make her long awaited comeback.
Queue her latest album.
Gone is Sasha Fierce, save one or two tracks! This is a much more grown up Beyoncé, and although there are a few die hard pop tracks amongst the ballads, it is definitely more 'easy listening' than 'getting ready for a night out' music.
This album is a bit out of left field considering what you might expect to follow a cult smash hit such as 'Single Ladies'. You get the impression that this is the music that Beyoncé really enjoys making, that she has grown into an artist who doesn't need to be bowing to the ever demanding pop music scene.
I do have to say though, just quietly, as glad as I am to see Beyoncé make a return to the music scene, I would have preferred that she'd kept the winning formula of 'I am . . .' - 50% Beyoncé Knowles + 50% Sasha Fierce.
I would even go so far as to suggest that you may want to consider buying individual tracks rather then the full album, my favourites of which are 1+1 (First performed at the American Idol Final) and for those who prefer Beyoncé's more upbeat R&B dance tracks: Countdown and Run the World (Girls).
In saying that, I am glad she has obviously stuck true to who she is. This album is well worth a listen, and I will treasure my copy just as much as I have all of her others.