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Monday, April 15
The Indiana Daily Student

Dual identities work for Beyonce

Which one of Beyonce's identities is this?

Sasha Fierce, Tonya Ferocious, Suzie Sunshine.

Beyonce can call herself whatever she damn pleases if it results in her churning out delectable pop and R&B. For her third solo album, Beyonce has released the two disc I Am ... Sasha Fierce. Disc one is a compilation of personal songs from the singer, while she embodies her diva stage-alter-ego Sasha Fierce on the second.

Both open with their current first singles and best tracks. I Am ... starts with the heart-wrenching “If I Were a Boy,” not merely a song about gender differences, but an emotional ride applicable to any human suffering in a doomed relationship.

Meanwhile, Sasha Fierce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” is a pounding club anthem, even though merely listening to it on the album can’t compare to watching its music video’s insanely impressive choreography.

Disc one’s highlights include a simple but stirring rendition of the classical piece “Ave Maria,” which flows nicely into “Smash Into You” and “Satellites,” where she purrs so coyly you’ll want to curl up on a couch near a fire and melt.

For her part, Sasha brings it, but not quite as well as she does on the hip-swinging, fist-pumping tracks on Beyonce’s previous album B’Day.

On the fun “Radio,” she praises DJs for constantly supplying music, while on “Diva” she alerts us that this said term is “the female version of a hustler.” Expect it to be the background song to many a finger-wagging female’s MySpace page for many months to come.  

Beyonce goes old school on “Hello,” bringing back one of 1996’s favorite catchphrases to let her lover know “You had me at hello.” “Ego” is also retro, bringing back 1970s funk.

The Jekell-Hyde separation Beyonce experiments with on I Am ... is enjoyable, but she might have benefited more from bringing the two personalities together instead.

Disc one’s songs are slower sensual ballads, while disc two’s are much more upbeat. The balance doesn’t quite work on a straight-through listen, but there’s enough to make up for it here.

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