REVIEW: ‘COWBOY CARTER’ is a Statement, Beyoncé Can Never Be Limited

COWBOY CARTER was first written in the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020. Being in the works for years, it is seen as the second part of her three part COVID-19 period releases. COWBOY CARTER has received very good reviews including the hit song ‘TEXAS HOLD ‘EM’ which has already reached more than 300 million streams on Spotify.

The album starts strong. Beyoncé is determined to prove she can, in fact, do country with the opening song ‘AMERIICAN REQUIEM’. Beyoncé immerses her audience into her Texian roots. Battling between being perceived as too country, or not country enough; She created this project with her identity to prove.

’16 CARRIAGES’ is one of the lead singles on the album, she had previously released and one of the best songs on the album. The theme of death is present in the song as we take a trip to Beyoncé’s fears in her childhood. It is a perfect track to summarise why this album is so important to her.

Beyoncé covers multiple songs around her album. ‘BLACKBIIRD’ is a cover from the song ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles, featuring Tanner Adell, Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy and Reyna Roberts. Beyoncé using this cover to platform multiple black women in country can be interpreted as a statement on how black women are treated within the genre. The original singer Paul McCartney commented on the song through his social media saying: “I think she does a magnificent version of it and it reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place.”

READ MORE: Black Women in Country

 She also included a remake of the iconic country song Jolene, ‘JOLENE’. Beyoncé added the original singer Dolly Parton to speak before the new version of the song. Parton draws a comparison between the original Jolene lyrics to Beyoncé’s iconic line “Becky with the good hair” in her album Lemonade. With Easter eggs like these, the album becomes more about making a statement about her own capabilities.

Songs like ‘bodyguard’, become my favourites. Fusing the country aspect with pop, they make it so easily listenable for the general public. But also demonstrate how both genres could work so well together if done well. Beyoncé’s voice shines the most in the chorus, as well the harmonies, making this an even better track.

In ‘DAUGHTER’, Beyoncé pushes the limits further by singing opera over a fast guitar, her voice rings through the track hauntingly. The opera and Country combination is also done beautifully for a part of the song. I would love to hear a full song with Beyoncé exploring the genres more throughout.

In ‘SPAGHETTI’ Beyoncé explains this album further with “genres are a funny thing” at the start of the song. This track feels out of the album but as Beyoncé explains, the album is more proof of everything she can do. She combines more genres from instruments often heard in Brazilian funk, to rap and continues to explain her frustrations.

In comparison to Beyonce best work, ‘COWBOY CARTER’ is an important album to show her potential within Country, but to be alive when ‘Lemonade’ was released was something unimaginable.

In ‘COWBOY CARTER’ Beyoncé was determined to show she cannot be limited. Ever since releasing her previous album ‘RENAISSANCE’ Beyoncé was a high topic for diving into a new genre, but her versatility never fails to amaze. Dominating both house and now country, Beyoncé proved once again she cannot be limited. This album was pivotal to that message, taking country to the next level.

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Written by: Ana Goncalves