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R&B - Released March 29, 2013 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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R&B - Released September 4, 2006 | Sony Urban Music - Columbia

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

R&B - Released November 24, 2014 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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R&B - Released November 26, 2010 | Music World Music - Columbia

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R&B - Released November 14, 2008 | Music World Music - Columbia

In non-Deluxe Edition form, Beyoncé's third solo studio album is as concise as 2006's B'day, but it is divided into two discs as a way to emphasize the singer's distinct personalities. It's a gimmick, of course -- a flimsy one. Revealed through interviews in 2005, Sasha was said to be Beyoncé's "stage persona," an embodiment of the outgoing, aggressive, on-stage Beyoncé that doesn't necessarily represent the real Beyoncé. Sasha now has a last name (possibly picked up from Tyra Banks, who maybe took a cue from Klymaxx), and is granted half an album (the second disc) to express herself. These five songs, when compared to the majority of B'day, are actually less fun, less impulsive, and yes, less fierce. "Diva," a variation on Lil Wayne's "A Milli," is the only track that could go toe to toe with the likes of B'day's "Freakum Dress" or "Ring the Alarm," at least in terms of audacity. At the other end is "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," a dire "Get Me Bodied" retread. Otherwise, the Sasha Fierce half is full of decent, if easily forgettable, upbeat pop. If placed within the context of an album without a packaging ploy, there'd be little evidence that Beyoncé is making a radical progression or being any more bold than before. It would, if anything, be notable as the least R&B-oriented batch of songs she has made -- that is, if it wasn't for the I Am half, essentially a small set of adult contemporary ballads. Acoustic guitars, pianos, strings, contemplative soul searching, and grand sweeping gestures fill it out, with more roots in '70s soft rock than soul. Beyoncé feels each line to the fullest extent, which almost rescues the set's staidness. "If I Were a Boy," while sounding like the watery backdrop for a singing competition finale, turns out to be the album's standout, both for its lyrics and Beyoncé's tormented performance. It could have been the song that broke an unfairly neglected adult-R&B singer like Heather Headley into the mainstream, and don't be surprised if a country artist nabs a CMA Award by covering it. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released May 29, 2007 | Columbia

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R&B - Released November 17, 2008 | Music World Music - Columbia

In non-Deluxe Edition form, Beyoncé's third solo studio album is as concise as 2006's B'day, but it is divided into two discs as a way to emphasize the singer's distinct personalities. It's a gimmick, of course -- a flimsy one. Revealed through interviews in 2005, Sasha was said to be Beyoncé's "stage persona," an embodiment of the outgoing, aggressive, on-stage Beyoncé that doesn't necessarily represent the real Beyoncé. Sasha now has a last name (possibly picked up from Tyra Banks, who maybe took a cue from Klymaxx), and is granted half an album (the second disc) to express herself. These five songs, when compared to the majority of B'day, are actually less fun, less impulsive, and yes, less fierce. "Diva," a variation on Lil Wayne's "A Milli," is the only track that could go toe to toe with the likes of B'day's "Freakum Dress" or "Ring the Alarm," at least in terms of audacity. At the other end is "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," a dire "Get Me Bodied" retread. Otherwise, the Sasha Fierce half is full of decent, if easily forgettable, upbeat pop. If placed within the context of an album without a packaging ploy, there'd be little evidence that Beyoncé is making a radical progression or being any more bold than before. It would, if anything, be notable as the least R&B-oriented batch of songs she has made -- that is, if it wasn't for the I Am half, essentially a small set of adult contemporary ballads. Acoustic guitars, pianos, strings, contemplative soul searching, and grand sweeping gestures fill it out, with more roots in '70s soft rock than soul. Beyoncé feels each line to the fullest extent, which almost rescues the set's staidness. "If I Were a Boy," while sounding like the watery backdrop for a singing competition finale, turns out to be the album's standout, both for its lyrics and Beyoncé's tormented performance. It could have been the song that broke an unfairly neglected adult-R&B singer like Heather Headley into the mainstream, and don't be surprised if a country artist nabs a CMA Award by covering it. ~ Andy Kellman
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Pop - Released September 4, 2015 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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R&B - Released June 24, 2003 | Columbia

Beyoncé Knowles was always presented as the star of Destiny's Child -- which probably shouldn't be a big surprise since her father managed the group. So it was a natural step for her to step into the diva spotlight with a solo album in 2003, particularly since it followed on the heels of her co-starring role in Mike Myers' 2002 comedy hit, Austin Powers in Goldmember. Still, a singer takes a risk when going solo, as there's no guarantee that her/his star will still shine as bright when there's nobody to reflect upon. Plus, Survivor often sounded labored, as Knowles struggled to sound real. The Knowles clan -- Beyoncé and her father Mathew, that is (regrettably, Harry Knowles of "Ain't It Cool" is no relation) -- were apparently aware of these two pitfalls since they pull off a nifty trick of making her debut album, Dangerously in Love, appeal to a broad audience while making it sound relatively easy. Sometimes that ease can translate into carelessness (at least with regard to the final stretch of the album), with a prolonged sequence of ballads that get stuck in their own treacle, capped off by the unbearably mawkish closer, "Gift from Virgo," where she wishes her unborn child and her husband to be like her daddy. (Mind you, she's not pregnant or married, she's just planning ahead, although she gets tripped up in her wishes since there's "no one else like my daddy.") Although these are a little formless -- and perhaps would have been more digestible if spread throughout the record -- they are impeccably produced and showcase Knowles' new relaxed and smooth delivery, which is a most welcome development after the overworked Survivor. Knowles doesn't save this voice just for the ballads -- she sounds assured and sexy on the dance numbers, particularly when she has a male counterpart, as on the deliriously catchy "Crazy in Love" with her man Jay-Z or on "Baby Boy" with 2003's dancehall superstar, Sean Paul. These are the moments when Dangerously in Love not only works, but sounds like Knowles has fulfilled her potential and risen to the top of the pack of contemporary R&B divas. It's just too bad that momentum is not sustained throughout the rest of the record. About halfway through, around the astrological ode "Signs" with Missy Elliott, it starts crawling through its ballads and, while listenable, it's not as exciting as the first part of the record. Still, the first half is good enough to make Dangerously in Love one of the best mainstream urban R&B records released in 2003, and makes a strong case that Knowles might be better off fulfilling this destiny instead of reuniting with Destiny. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released September 5, 2006 | Sony Urban Music - Columbia

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Pop/Rock - Released March 26, 2007 | Columbia

Pop - Released December 20, 2013 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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The first 346 days of Beyoncé's 2013 were eventful enough. She headlined the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, joined by Destiny's Child partners Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. The trio released "Nuclear," an excellent song disregarded for not being an anthem. A documentary, Life Is But a Dream, aired on HBO. There were appearances on albums by Rowland, the-Dream, and husband Jay-Z, as well as a Soundcloud upload "Bow Down/I Been On," passionately debated for its aggression and vulgarity, and the more "ladylike" "Standing on the Sun," a clothing retailer tie-in. And then, on December 13, while engaged in a world tour and when no one expected it, she released her fifth solo studio album with accompanying videos. Easily her best album since B'day, it's among her most entertaining and sexually explicit work, yet it's substantive in every respect. Beyoncé co-wrote and co-produced all of the songs with A-listers like Pharrell, Timbaland, James Fauntleroy, Hit-Boy, and the-Dream, as well as emerging Detroiters Detail and Key Wane and the previously unknown Boots. There are deep references to Beyoncé's competitive showbiz upbringing and acknowledgments of her beloved Houston hometown. "Mine" and "Blue" involve vivid expressions regarding the turbulence and thrill of motherhood. Central track "***Flawless" opens with Ed McMahon's introduction of her preteen group on Star Search, incorporates the combative "Bow Down" and a portion of celebrated Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED talk on feminism, as well as a booming, quotable-packed victory lap. It concludes with McMahon's dismissal of her group, as if to say, "Yeah, but look at me now." There's also a whole lot of romance, heartache, and, most prominently, monogamous sex -- in the kitchen, in a chauffeur-driven car, while drunk. Best of all is "Blow," playfully risqué boogie loaded with instantly memorable lines -- "I'm-a let you be the boss of me," for instance -- and a slick tempo changeup. Soul throwback ballad "Rocket" is a close second, another amusing mix of metaphorical and explicit come-ons. It opens with an elegantly delivered "Let me sit this ass on you." When the album came out, the release itself dominated the chatter. In time, it should be seen as a career highlight from a superstar -- one of the hardest-working people in the business, a new mother, in total control, at her creative and commercial peak. ~ Andy Kellman

Pop - Released March 18, 2014 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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R&B - Released February 8, 2010 | Music World Music - Columbia

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R&B - Released November 24, 2014 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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Pop - Released November 20, 2016 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

Pop - Released June 17, 2014 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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R&B - Released July 27, 2007 | Columbia

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R&B - Released January 1, 2006 | Sony Urban Music - Columbia

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R&B - Released October 31, 2006 | Sony Urban Music - Columbia