Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter Is a Triumph

On March 29, Beyoncé (she/her) released her eighth studio album, Cowboy Carter. It is Act II of Beyoncé’s album trilogy that began with her album Renaissance. The album has 27 songs and is 1 hour and 19 minutes long. The album had two lead singles “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” released the night of the LVIII Super Bowl through a Verizon ad. “Texas Hold ‘Em” went on to be Beyoncé’s ninth solo number one song on the Billboard charts. 

A likely inspiration for this album was Beyoncé’s 2016 Country Music Awards performance of “Daddy Lessons” with The Chicks. The performance was met with vitriol from attendants of the awards and online, after. Many complained that Beyoncé didn’t count as country music. In a March 19 Instagram announcement about Cowboy Carter, Beyoncé wrote, “This album has been over five years in the making. It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t. But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive.”

The album features many iconic musicians with Dolly Parton (she/her), Willie Nelson (he/him), and many more contributing to the album. When the album was announced, Dolly Parton posted on her Instagram saying “I’m a big fan of Beyoncé and very excited that she’s done a country album. So congratulations on your Billboard Hot Country number one single. Can’t wait to hear the full album!”

The album is epic, emotional, and a triumph of country music. My favorites are “American Requiem,” “Bodyguard,” “Daughter,” and “Ya Ya.” Of the songs on the album, “Daughter,” is my favorite lyrically, but “Bodyguard” is my favorite sonically. What I liked about “Daughter” is the imagery the lyrics portray and the persona developed by the subject of the song. Her inclusion of Caro Mio Ben to further emphasize her point was a great touch. I loved the vibe of “Bodyguard.” To me, it is the perfect driving song. The song is energetic while still maintaining a sense of ease. It is a song I will be playing on repeat. I would give the album 9/10.

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