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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

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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