4

~ Release group by Beyoncé

Album

ReleaseArtistFormatTracksCountry/DateLabelCatalog#Barcode
Official
4BeyoncéCD12
  • XE2011-06-24
Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP)88697908242886979082427
4 (Deluxe Edition)Beyoncé2×CD12 + 6
  • US2011-06-24
Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP)88697933582886979335820
4 (deluxe edition)Beyoncé2×CD12 + 6
  • US2011-06-26
Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP)886979229921886979229921
4 (Deluxe Edition)Beyoncé2×CD12 + 6
  • GB2011-06-27
Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP)88697933582886979335820
4BeyoncéCD12
  • KR2011-06-28
Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP)S108428803581118421
4 (Deluxe Edition)Beyoncé2×CD12 + 6
  • KR2011-06-28
Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP)S10843C8803581118438
4BeyoncéCD12
  • US2011-06-28
Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP)88697908242886979082427
4 (通常盤)BeyoncéCD13
  • JP2011-06-29
Sony Music Japan International Inc. (Do not use as a label, see the annotation.)SICP-31874547366060010
4 (初回限定盤)Beyoncé2×CD13 + 6
  • JP2011-06-29
Sony Music Japan International Inc. (Do not use as a label, see the annotation.)SICP-3185, SICP-31864547366060119
4 (2CD Deluxe Edition)Beyoncé2×CD12 + 6
Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP), Parkview Records88697933582886979335820
4 (44.1kHz/24bit)BeyoncéDigital Media14
  • XE2013-03-29
Parkwood Entertainment886443912991
4BeyoncéCD14Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP)887254236620887254236627

Relationships

part of:Pitchfork: The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s (number: 31) (order: 31)
Huffington Post: Sexiest Album Covers: From the 50’s to Now (number: 50) (order: 49)
Discogs:https://www.discogs.com/master/347012 [info]
reviews:https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/zw4z [info]
other databases:https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/beyonce/4/ [info]
Allmusic:https://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0002136254 [info]
Wikidata:Q238235 [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.