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Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Beyoncé releases Act II of her trilogy: “Cowboy Carter”

Beyoncé’s new album explores new country influences never heard in her music before.
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Beyoncé recently released “Cowboy Carter,” Act II of her trilogy (Act I: Renaissance, Act III: yet to release). As her eighth studio album, “Cowboy Carter” adds a country twist to her usual sound. While the album mainly contains country characteristics, she added elements of hip-hop and R&B, per her signature style. With the  intricate harmonies, you can hear each dynamic part. She starts the album with “Ameriican Requiem”,” building up the anticipation of the next songs using harmonies and dynamics as an intro, or prologue to a story. 

Trying to represent the country genre, Beyoncé brings many country stars like Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton, giving Parton a monologue before transitioning into her version of the song “Jolene” and featuring Cyrus on the song “II Most Wanted. The double ‘I’s in some of the titles represent that the album is Act II of her trilogy, and I feel like this touch shows how much detail she put into the album.

Beyoncé shows variety by giving us songs that have a deeper meaning with a message worth listening to while also giving us songs that we can dance to like “Sweet ★ Honey ★ Buckin’” and “Ya Ya.” My favorite song,  “Daughter,” sings a story of her anger over her husband, Jay-Z’s, infidelity by utilizing the soft strumming of the guitar and elements of opera. The song gives the listeners insight into her thought process when she found out about his affair. She explains how Jay-Z felt guilty to the point he resorted to drinking, and that she wanted to kill him along with the woman he had an affair with using lyrics like “This alcohol and smell of regret” and “How long can he hold his breath until his death.” These lyrics convey her anger and can relate to other women who have gone through similar experiences. Her songs make an impact on anyone who listens to her albums, which makes her such an influential artist. 

Many fans have either loved the album or hated it. I love the album because even though it is country, it still has its twists and Beyoncé’s style. Mixing country and opera is something I would not have expected, but it was refreshing to hear. 

Some fans have mixed opinions about the album saying it isn’t country or is just not their cup of tea. Some argue that Beyoncé’s music falls so far from country that she doesn’t fit the mood needed for the genre. This album proves she can do both, “The follow-up to Renaissance is a powerful and ambitious country album cast in the singular mold of Beyoncé. She asserts her rightful place in the genre as only a pop star of her incredible talent and influence can do,” stated the music critique blog Pitchfork. Through all the hate and some critiques, Beyoncé stated, “This isn’t a country album, this is a Beyoncé album.” 

Others have said that because of her popularity, the album has already become overhyped and over-criticized. “Texas Hold Em” is my least favorite song on the album because it is now overplayed and appears everywhere. I wish she could have put out the song along with the rest of the album so we would have something to look forward to because it got old quickly. Throughout the album, she also adds some songs that are a bit more intimate, like “Levii’s Jeans” featuring Post Malone. While I like the song, Post Malone’s vocals ruined it and overpowered the instrumentals. In my opinion, his voice wasn’t meant for that particular piece considering the quieter, lighter song. I would have loved to hear him on a more upbeat song on the album, like “Ya Ya” or “II Hands II Heaven.”

Overall, I enjoyed the album and have many songs that are on replay in my library. I enjoyed the vocals, the harmonies, the features, all of it. Although I am not a country fan, this gave me some insight into what the genre would be like if I listened to it more. I truly feel that this is her best work and I can’t wait for Act III.

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About the Contributor
Zariyah Howell
Zariyah Howell, Staff Reporter
Zariyah is a junior staff reporter, and this year is her first year on The Viewer.
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