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4 All Time Low | Dirty Work
Alex Z. Album name: 4 (Deluxe Edition)
Label: Columbia
Release Date:  June 28, 2011
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review written by: Alexandra Boisvert
Beyoncé has done it again. The artist's fourth studio album is sure to be just as successful at the first three. Filled with such raw emotion and heartfelt lyrics '4' is filled with songs that anyone can relate to. From the ballad style of “1+1” to the upbeat dance style of “Best Thing I Never Had”, this album has a song for every occasion.

The first song on the album also happened to be the first single that was released for radio play. "1+1" tells a story about a relationship where love truly is enough. The most powerful lyrics to be heard in the song are "And it's me, and you/That's all we'll have when the world is through". This seems to be one of the most common ideas that come to mind when thinking about love.

The next song portrays the opposite message. "I Care" is about what happens after a breakup. While one person doesn't seem to care, the other is remembering the good and the bad of the relationship. "I Miss You" also follows along those lines. The main idea carried throughout this song is the idea of being lost without that other person. This is the simplest but one of the most powerful songs on the CD. The song itself can make you feel relieved, even if you’ve never been in this situation before.

The second single off of the album, "Best Thing I Never Had", is a catchy rock/pop influences piece about "dodging a bullet" by realizing the person you wanted to be with wasn't who they thought they were.

"Party" is the only collaboration of the album. She partners up with Andre 3000 for this song about the need to just let go of things and party. This is a good choice of collaboration for the album because it isn't too heavy. The message is something everyone can relate to.

"Rather Die Young" and "Start Over" make up the second pair of juxtaposed messages on the album. While "Rather Die Young" tells the story of someone so in love they would rather die young than lose the other person, "Start Over" is about someone in a relationship full of so much argument they just need to start over.

“Love on Top” sums up perfectly why everyone loves Beyoncé. She has the ability to, through a song; make someone feel like the most important person in the world. That is exactly what she does when she discusses her love for someone in this song. The feeling that is evoked by this piece is reminiscent of a 90s love song. The song that follows, “Countdown”, uses a clever countdown to discuss more of the ups and downs of love. It has a different feel to it, sounding as if it was inspired by some of her past music.

“End of Time” is a song that would make everyone want to fall in love. The fun, up-tempo melody of the song captures perfectly the happiness that comes with making a promise to love someone forever.

“I Was Here” happens to be the most emotional of the songs on the album and something everyone can relate to, whether in work or just life in general. She discusses the need to feel like you made a difference and left your mark on the world. Everyone wants to feel like they made a significant contribution that they would forever be remembered for.

“Run the World (Girls)” is a “Single Ladies” style empowering song for all of the girls who listen to her CD. That concept seems to be what Beyoncé is best known for. “Lay Up Under Me” is a song about exactly what it sounds like. The fact that the song is so catchy and upbeat almost distracts from the message, but it enhances the emotions portrayed.

“Schoolin’, Life” is something that reminds us all of our schooling days, or if you’re still living those days, gives us hope for the future. Beyoncé gives the message that you can be anything you want to be. The last song is “Dance For You” in which she talks about how she would do anything to show this person that she cares about them.

Overall, ‘4’ remains true to Beyoncé’s character. She continues to combine different musical genres in order to combine all of the music she enjoys, which is what makes her so different from other artists.  This album will be yet another success in her career and is definitely worth purchasing.
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