New album from Beyoncé: Rodeo Queen Bey

Pop icon Beyoncé has released her highly anticipated album with star guests including Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus.

Beyoncé can do country – and so much more… “Cowboy Carter” is an impressive gesture of empowerment – and a wild style rodeo.

After 32 Grammys and over 200 million records sold, Beyoncé is actually going one better. With her country album “Cowboy Carter”, the R’n’B queen from Texas makes a big musical statement.

Justin Timberlake ignites the comeback rocket, Shakira dances her way back to life and Beyoncé shakes up the American country charts: the pop titans from overseas will really let it rip in March 2024. The latter in particular hits the mark with its radical change of style. Instead of over-powdered diva pop, Beyoncé is coming around the corner these days with a melodic mixture of R’n’B and country. This mix is an absolute novelty in the history of American hit lists. With the single “Texas Hold ‘Em,” Beyoncé becomes the first African-American singer to reach the top of the country charts.

While the lasso-swinging cowboy hat wearers between Houston and Colorado can’t help but be amazed, Beyoncé dances confidently across the line dance floor, swinging her hips. Even two courses below, the 32-time Grammy award winner impresses with her musical finesse and haunting presence. A few gospel backgrounds, the resounding clap of a leather glove on an ungulate’s rump and the unmistakable vibrato of the main protagonist also make the second single “16 Carriages” a special track.

Beyoncé is making country her own

With the two “Cowboy Carter” appetizers, Beyoncé proves that she can do more than just pop, R’n’B, soul and hip hop. Of course, those familiar with Knowles’ biography, which is covered in glitter and gold, have long known that the native Texan is not venturing into completely new territories. Beyoncé once grew up among cowboys herself and showed in 2016 on stage at the CMA Awards together with the Dixie Chicks that she has everything under control, even surrounded by banjo and guitar sounds. Now the rest of the world should also pay attention and widen their eyes when the singer invites you to a big Yeehaw! party.

The dramatically introesque “American Requiem” opens the door to a world of sound in which the author makes the genre her own. It doesn’t take a minute before country and Beyoncé come together to form a completely new whole. Together with her seven-year-old daughter Rumi, Beyoncé sways in the protection of family solidarity, while plucked guitars make their harmonious contribution in the background (“Protector”).

Without Lady Gaga, but with Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson

Beyoncé serves up a big meal, even if fans of the worthy Lady Gaga are disappointed that their heroine wasn’t invited to the recording studio in the end. But other high-profile players are present. Beyoncé not only brings back beautiful Beatles memories (“Blackbird”), but also brings two true industry legends on board. Beyoncé has at least as much fun with Willie Nelson (“Smoke Hour II”, “Just For Fun”) and Dolly Parton (“Dolly P”, “Jolene”) as she does with her superstar colleague Miley Cyrus (“II Most Wanted”).

No matter whether it’s ballad-like, a bit excited or, as in the lead single, pretty on fire: Whatever Beyoncé sets out to do, she succeeds. The singer does not use the typical genre sounds as flashing billboards to advertise herself. Beyoncé makes country docile. She creates something new, an exciting mixture of contemporary R’n’B vibes that merge with the characteristic energy of gospel, country and classic singer-songwriter songs to form a fascinating whole. After 27 songs and an eighty-minute high-end performance, you’ll be putting on your cowboy hat behind the loneliest cattle gate, even in the dusty heart of Texas.

“Cowboy Carter”, singer Beyoncé’s new album, is a pop masterpiece that will keep us busy for months to come.

Beyoncé, the queen of R&B, is finally releasing her country album – and it’s not just America that’s upside down. Is “Cowboy Carter” an act of cultural appropriation? Which music is black and which is white? The best of all answers is forgotten in the general excitement.

It started relatively harmlessly. At the Super Bowl in February, the highlight of the American cultural calendar, there was a showdown between Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. While Taylor Swift attracted attention and attention, Beyoncé used the video walls to promote her new work, which would be more than just another album. A political issue.

“Renaissance” was the name of her last album of 2022, and on the cover she sat naked on a horse made of glass. In the next act, “Act II”, initially only the working title was revealed, Beyoncé, the queen of R&B, also promised a renaissance of her music. She already played two songs at the Super Bowl: “Texas Hold ’em”, a rustic banjo hymn to country life, and “16 Carriages”, her biographical ballad of a redneck girl about the early loss of innocence, mother’s tears, father’s lies and the burden of the household, also a country song. Beyoncé grew up in Texas, in Houston.

When the two songs came out, KYKC, a country station in Byng, Oklahoma, did them the favor of avowedly not playing them: They, KYKC, basically didn’t play anything by Beyoncé because they were a country station. With this, KYKC called on the BeyHives, the singer’s internationally networked fans. The BeyHives forced the managing director to his knees with their listener requests and gave him a rueful excuse: He simply didn’t know that Beyoncé was now making music that fit the station’s program. He could have also said: Beyoncé’s music has always been black and what KYKC plays is white.

Now the album is out in the world. It’s called “Cowboy Carter” and shows Beyoncé riding a white horse with a sash around her body like she’s in a parade of old American cavalrymen or like Buffalo Bill as a woman in one of his Wild West shows. Skin colors, genders, everything that drives identity politics in your country seems to be dissolving. She also sings hymns like “American Requiem,” in which she turns to her old friends and explains to them why she is once again changing her name, Cowboy Carter, “Amen.” In “Protector” she asks for protection for herself and her daughter Rumi, for her family and for her people. Like James Brown, the father of soul, she declares that she is proud of herself: “Feel proud of who I am!” She plays, as it should in country music, her bass drum sounds like an empty whiskey barrel.

The album, “Cowboy Carter,” also has a longer history that goes back further than the Super Bowl and the KYKC scandal a few weeks ago. Eight years ago, Beyoncé sang about her father in “Daddy’s Lessons,” who made her strong and smart through his toughness, but also wanted to be a cowboy in his own way, with a Bible and a gun, traditional, Texan, male. She even sang “Daddy’s Lessons” at the CMAs, the Country Music Awards in Nashville, with the Dixie Chicks.

Like Beyoncé, the Dixie Chicks, three white women, come from Texas. However, they had already fallen out of favor with the country crowd by then because they had publicly criticized the war in the Middle East and apologized for having to share the federal state with George W. Bush. When Beyoncé joined in, there were boos in the hall, which the singers on stage visibly enjoyed. Alan Jackson, older, male, white, left the awards ceremony in protest.


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