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Beyoncé Embraces Her Weirdness On '4'

Also: Stream new music by Lenny Kravitz, Pitbull, Big Sean, Gillian Welch, Handsome Furs and Morrissey

June 28, 2011 10:00 AM ET
Beyoncé Embraces Her Weirdness On '4'

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone album reviews, Jody Rosen praises Beyoncé's latest album 4, which showcases the R&B queen's musical quirks, from the idiosyncratic way she syncopates her vocals and the odd melodies she floats over rugged beats to her "sui generis mix of rap bravado, gospel sanctimony and old-fashioned showbiz razzle-dazzle." Also, David Fricke gives a thumbs-up to Rave On Buddy Holly, a tribute to the late singer featuring Paul McCartney, Patti Smith and Kid Rock, and Doree Shafrir says that the Handsome Furs' "sweaty and urgent" new album Sound Kapital is "a snapshot of a dark world with hard-fought glimmers of euphoria."

ALBUMS

Beyoncé - 4 (stream one song)

Various Artists - Rave On Buddy Holly (stream one song)

Big Sean - Finally Famous (stream one song)

Gillian Welch - The Harrow and the Harvest (stream one song)

Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital (stream one song)

Bad Meets Evil - Hell: The Sequel (stream one song)

Pitbull - Planet Pit (stream one song)

All Time Low - Dirty Work (stream one song)

Low Cut Connie - Get Out the Lotion (stream one song)

SINGLES

Lenny Kravitz "Stand" (stream)

Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine "Stereo Heart" (stream)

Morrissey "Action Is My Middle Name" (stream)

LAST WEEK: Bon Iver Becomes One of Our Era's Defining Singers

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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