If He Were A Boy

Last night I went to see Beyonce live. I like Beyonce. I’m not mental on her, but I knew she’d be able to pull off a pretty good show.

OH MY GOD. I am not exaggerating when I say I might as well never go to a gig again. NOTHING is likely to beat last night. 35 songs, about 10 costume changes, flying, mad amazing dancing, an all female band, extravagant video bits. My favourite gig ever was Robbie at Knebworth but save the size of the queue to get out of the car park, it was nothing on Beyonce. And then there was this:


When I was about 17/18 I was a massive George Michael fan. My best friend Joanne and I used to listen to Ladies and Gentlemen NON STOP at sixth form despite not actually knowing most of it when it came out. It soundtracked us learning to drive, doing our A Levels, everything. I saw him live a couple of years ago at the LIVE 25 tour but from right at the back of Wembley. This time we were realy close to the stage and it was the best surprise ever. Just before launching into ‘If I Were A Boy’, Beyonce did a little bit of the beautiful ‘One More Try’ which seemed really random and then a costume change later there he was. I seriously just stood open mouthed screaming for the entire song. Beyonce’s almost ‘Outside’ outfit was perfect, the video screens made them look like they were in a properly 80s video and this should so be re-released as a duet.


Review: Beyonce – I Am… Sasha Fierce


In a world ruled by downloads perhaps the flow of tracklistings, once pored over for hours by record labels, isn’t that important any more. It’s certainly not to Beyonce who, on this, her third solo album, has spread 11 songs over two discs in order to create a ‘concept’. Double albums usually make us pull an ugly face (Back To Basics, anyone?) but we guess at least this has a point, almost. 

Let’s explain. For this album Beyonce has split her personality into two. Disc 1, labelled ‘I Am’, reveals the ‘real’ Beyonce behind the makeup, baring her soul with insecurities about love. The simple, If I Were A Boy, is ably joined by the very strange, but wonderful Ave Maria and Ryan Tedder’s Bleeding Love-lite, Halo. Unfortunately when faced with six ballads in a row, you might find yourself dropping off into a deep slumber, no matter how good they are. 

You’ll wake up sharpish though when it’s time for disc 2, as Beyonce is gone, replaced by the hilariously monikered Sasha Fierce. Sasha is B’s on-stage personality and the hair flicking, stiletto strutting beats of Diva with it’s dictionary defining ”diva is the female version of a hustler” prove it. Yet though the electro pounding of Sweet Dreams or the wild Radio might be standouts here, there’s nothing that announces Beyonce’s experimental side like the raging Ring The Alarm from B’Day 

An attempt no doubt for credibility and importance, I Am … Sasha Fierce ultimately falls short of this goal. In a world where Rihanna seems to have released hit after hit, Beyonce, although the superior on-stage performer, needs to come back with something stronger than this if she wants to steal her sparkly crown back off the young pretender.

Originally published on BBC Music