4

by Beyoncé

Released June 24, 2011 via Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records

Reviewed June 25, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Love On Top (60%), Run the World (Girls) (47%), 1+1 (33%)

In a world dominated by David Guetta-style EDM, Beyoncé made waves and changed the game—as she does—with one of her most soulful efforts in 4. By avoiding that wave and creating her own, the Queen pretty much hit the lotto, because some of these songs feel like they haven’t aged a bit. Dripping with love and all types of emotions associated with it, 4 is probably her most fun and accessible work to date. Every song on here sounds like a megahit that’s as grandiose as the one before. And while it’s not her best work, it still marks a transition phase into the prime of her career. – Alan (8/10)

Any new Beyoncé albums in the future will make 4 the exact midpoint of her beloved solo album discography; it currently stands as her fourth of six chart-topping studio records, all decorated with multi-platinum plaques. Having seized a larger share of creative control from her manager and record label, Beyoncé began to usher in some of the signatures that would redefine her music through the 2010’s. Marching band rhythms, robust singing, and an ever-evolving embrace of maturation and womanhood take much greater form in albums such as Beyoncé, Lemonade, and HOMECOMING: THE LIVE ALBUM, with 4 laying down the earliest groundwork. While 4 isn’t quite as consistent or colorful as the albums that follow, it does possess their best qualities in their earliest forms and is proof of the impressively linear growth fans have witnessed from Bey over the last decade. – DeVán (8/10)


Enth: 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.5/10 | DeVán: 8/10 | Alan: 7.9/10 | Hadley: 7.5/10

Daniel: 7.2/10 | Jared: 7/10 | Dominick: 6.5/10