4

~ Release group by Beyoncé

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
4 CD 12 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) 88697908242 886979082427
4 (Deluxe Edition) 2×CD 12 + 6 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) 88697933582 886979335820
4 (deluxe edition) 2×CD 12 + 6 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) 886979229921 886979229921
4 (Deluxe Edition) 2×CD 12 + 6 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) 88697933582 886979335820
4 CD 12 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) S10842 8803581118421
4 (Deluxe Edition) 2×CD 12 + 6 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) S10843C 8803581118438
4 CD 12 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) 88697908242 886979082427
4 (通常盤) CD 13 Sony Music Japan International Inc. (Do not use as a label, see the annotation.) SICP-3187 4547366060010
4 (初回限定盤) 2×CD 13 + 6 Sony Music Japan International Inc. (Do not use as a label, see the annotation.) SICP-3185, SICP-3186 4547366060119
4 (44.1kHz/24bit) Digital Media 14 Parkwood Entertainment 886443912991
4 CD 14 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) 88725423662 0887254236627

Relationships

part of: Huffington Post: Sexiest Album Covers: From the 50's to Now (number: 50)
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0002136254 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/347012 [info]
Wikidata: Q238235 [info]
Wikipedia: en: 4 (Beyoncé Knowles album) [info]
other databases: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/beyonce/4/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/zw4z [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Most Recent

The number 4 means something to Beyonce: it's the date of her birth, the date of her wedding; there are even four key changes in the final, teetering chorus of Love on Top to ram the point home. That the title was apparently crowd sourced from fans attuned to Beyonce's yen for numerology smacks of post-justification, but one fact pokes through - 4 is definitely her fourth album.

Following schizo double I Am... Sasha Fierce, Beyonce took a year off but has come back brighter. Dozens of songs emerged from the original 4 sessions and the promo circuit's been leapt on with a vengeance, culminating - at least over here - in the intriguing Glastonbury headline slot (yet to wow us as we go to press). With 4's best bold tunes, Beyonce has spruced up an already handsome catalogue. She's got the armoury to trump husband Jay-Z's perception-altering Pilton turn.

Run the World (Girls) we know, twice over, in Major Lazer's Pon de Floor and in its recent official and unofficial leaks. Strangely, it's tacked on like a bonus after the natural big finish of the Diane Warren-penned I Was Here, when it would've nestled comfortably alongside the opulent M.I.A.-style cacophony of Countdown or End of Time's startling vision of Animal Collective covering Lionel Richie's All Night Long. No matter - the rest of 4 tips towards the powerhouse balladry that caressed her previous album.

And these are exemplars of the form, I Care in particular emoting the house down over a sustained Purple Rain chord. Its near-equals 1+1 and I Miss You tug heartstrings too, the former over magnificent guitar bombast; the latter - a contribution from Odd Future's misfit soulman Frank Ocean - over the kind of subtle tension achieved by Alicia Keys' Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart. 1+1 offers a pointer to Best Thing I Never Had where Beyonce really gets her soft rock on, matching Bon Iver's Beth/Rest in summoning up Bruce Hornsby and the Range. Now there's an odd future.

Less successful are Kanye West and Andre 3000's interruptions ("You got the swag sauce / You drip the swagu," leers Kanye - oh dear) on Party's slick 80s soul, while the overdone glitz of Rather Die Young drags. The rest of 4, though, sparks. Beyonce slips from flirty to fragile to fabulous, and is in terrific voice throughout, reminding us that when she opens up there's no-one else in the game.