Beyoncé praised for 'impressive' country album

2 weeks ago 21

Beyoncé at the GrammysImage source, Getty Images

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Beyoncé's highly anticipated new album has been released

By Noor Nanji

Culture reporter

Critics and fans have praised Beyoncé's new country-inspired album Cowboy Carter, which was released on Friday.

The US pop star's eighth studio album was given four out of five stars by Guardian critic Alexis Petridis, who said it shows she is "impressively capable of doing whatever she wants".

Page Six critic Nicholas Hautman called it "the revival that country music so desperately needed".

"She did not disappoint," raved one fan on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Another social media user said he thought Beyoncé's voice was "the best it's ever been in her career".

The album features duets with Miley Cyrus and Post Malone, along with covers of Dolly Parton's Jolene and The Beatles' song Blackbird.

Country singers Willie Nelson and Linda Martell also feature.

Many reviewers welcomed Beyoncé's ability to straddle the country-pop genre. Petridis said the album demonstrated the singer's "ability to bend musical styles to her will".

But he noted the 27-track project "might have worked better split into two separate albums".

Will Hodgkinson of The Times also gave Cowboy Carter a four-star review, praising it as a "slick and starry western epic" with a sense of "fun and adventure".

But he agreed it was too long, adding she "would have been better off leaving the remaining seven songs for another album".

Hautman hailed the new album as "instantly timeless" and "a soulful celebration of Southern values and the genre's African American roots".

The Rolling Stones' Larisha Paul said "every piece" of the album was "meticulously thought out", from the track list to the album art.

Many of the reviewers also picked up on Beyoncé's own warning, that "this ain't a country album, this is a Beyoncé album".

The singer is "doing country her way" said Elle's Erica Gonzales, noting how she weaves in hip hop and even sings Italian opera.

The new album was preceded by two hit singles - Texas Hold 'Em and 16 Carriages - which marked the start of the Texas-born singer's foray into country music.

Both singles became instant streaming hits, and Beyoncé became the first black woman to top Billboard's country music chart last month with Texas Hold 'Em. She also topped the UK singles charts for the first time in almost 14 years.

Beyoncé has said the album came from an experience where she "did not feel welcome", which motivated her to dig deeper into the history of country music.

Ahead of the release, she also thanked her fans "from the bottom of my heart" for their support of the album.

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