Today comes the long-awaited Renaissancethe seventh and latest album by singer, dancer, composer, producer and actress Beyoncé, aka Queen B. On this occasion, we decided to make a ranking of all her albums, and as much to tell you that the task was very complicated.
Beyoncé’s discography is solid… Very solid. So, establishing an order among all these classic songs is like choosing between your father and your mother. The projects are all musically very different, and each illustrate a new stage in the artistic evolution of Queen B, like a path. In short, here is our ultimate ranking of the seven albums of the queen of R’n’B:
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B’Day, this is Beyoncé’s second album, released on her 25th birthday in September 2006, one year after the dissolution of Destiny’s Child, the group in which she shone alongside Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. With a very R’n’B style, sprinkled with small touches of funk, pop and hip-hop, it is surely the most danceable album of B, as proven by the titles “Upgrade U”, “Get Me Bodied”, “Beautiful Liar”, in duet with Shakira, and “Deja Vu”, featuring the one who will become her husband, Jay-Z.
There are also softer ballads, like “Listen”, and more oldschool, such as “Resentment” and “Suga Mama”. But the biggest success of the project remains the single “Irreplaceable”. With B’DayBeyoncé is definitely sitting on her throne as a solo star, but the future will show us that she can do much more.
Complicated to locate this new album in this ranking. Even if we liked it, it’s too early to step into a discography where the bar is set very, very high. Very different from other Beyoncé albums, Renaissance is a UFO that we put in sixth place for the moment, the time it finds its own in this ranking by climbing surely if it manages to improve over time.
5. Dangerously in Love
Dangerously in Love is Beyoncé’s first solo album, released in March 2003 while on hiatus from Destiny’s Child. With this first project, the singer proves that she can shine on her own (not that anyone can doubt it). She also served as the album’s executive producer and co-wrote the majority of the songs.
While it may not be her most acclaimed album to date, it remains the best-selling of her entire career, selling over 12.5 million copies. Dangerously in Love allowed Beyoncé to win five Grammy Awards and reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with the hits “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy”. A very fresh first R’n’B and soul album, offering ballads and mid-tempo titles, which established Beyoncé as the new performer of the music scene at the time. But she still has to prove that she is much more than the girl of the girl band that everyone knows until now.
This self-titled album is the American artist’s fifth. Released by surprise, without any promotion, in December 2013, Beyonce shook the internet. It then became the best-selling album in the history of the iTunes Store, with 828,773 copies sold in just three days. Going even further in the artistic approach, Beyoncé accompanies and illustrates the release of the project with a clip per song, to make it a visual album.
Beyonce is B’s most intimate, sensual, dark and wild album. try rapping (“7/11”, “Partition” and “Drunk in Love”) in a smooth voice. She tackles themes such as feminism and sex, which highlight her image as a girl power tigress, and which, ultimately, resemble her more. In “Pretty Hurts” and “No Angel”, her vocal performance is remarkable. If this is not necessarily the kind of album that we appreciate from the first listen (no hit stands out apart from “Drunk in Love”), time has made it a masterpiece.
Contrary to Beyoncethe album 4 is much more sung. The songs are vocally perfect and full of freshness, marked by much more pop and funk influences, unlike his other albums. It’s a very personal project, in which Beyoncé has invested more, whether in the artistic approach or the composition, and which shows the different musical styles of the singer.
We thus find “Run the World (Girls)” with dancehall and alternative hip-hop sounds and a text promoting the emancipation of women. It became one of the biggest hits of his career. Also acclaimed are the ballads “Best Thing I Never Had”, “I Was Here” and “I Care”, the slow R’n’B “Dance for You”, and the funky “Love on Top”. 4 is the first album released after Beyoncé severed professional ties with her father and manager. It is also his fourth studio album, hence its name.
2. I Am…Sasha Fierce
I Am…Sasha Fierce, released in November 2008, is Beyoncé’s third solo album. The work features “Sasha Fierce,” the singer’s alter ego on stage (a more obscure and expressive performer, who contrasts sharply with the notoriously reserved woman she is in real life). This double album is a mix of slow R’n’B and pop ballads (like Beyoncé), and more up-tempo electro and dance sounds (like Sasha).
With the video for “Single Ladies”, the biggest hit of the project, Queen B marks the world with a now famous choreography and her emblematic “hand flip” movement. Other hits include “If I Were a Boy”, “Halo”, “Broken-Hearted Girl”, “Diva”, “Ego” or “Hello”. In short, the success with the public will be confirmed by the seven nominations of the album to the Grammy Awards and its record of six victories, that is to say the greatest number of awards gained in a ceremony by a woman.
Lemonade is a real cry from the heart. This is his second visual album (after Beyonce). Its release, on April 23, 2016, was a total surprise. First appeared in preview on Tidal, it is then available as a paid download. It is accompanied by a 65-minute film broadcast exclusively on HBO. We find in the project a wide variety of musical genres, such as pop, reggae, blues, rock, hip-hop, trap, soul, country, electro, as well as prestigious collaborations, Kendrick Lamar to The Weeknd via Jack White.
It is surely the singer’s most introspective, painful, cathartic and constructed album. She recounts the phases she went through to rebuild herself and save her couple after Jay-Z, her husband and the father of her children, cheated on her. Intuition (“Pray You Catch Me”), denial (“Hold Up”), anger (“Don’t Hurt Yourself”), apathy (“Sorry”), emptiness (“6 Inch ”) and, finally, responsibility (“Daddy Lessons”).
With the impressive “Formation” and “Freedom” with Kendrick Lamar, but also the moving “Sandcastles”, Lemonade also explores the history and origins of the artist with a very afrofeminist prism and references such as the work Daughters of the Dust, the first American film directed by a black woman. The album is also directly inspired by her grandmother, Agnéz Deréon, and that of her husband Jay-Z, Hattie White. At the end of the title “Freedom”, we hear the latter say, during the celebration of her 90th birthday in April 2015: “I was served lemons, but I made lemonade” (“Life gave me lemons, I made lemonade”).
Lemonade, which sold 653,000 copies in one week, was one of his most critically acclaimed albums. All of the tracks on the album reached the top Billboard Hot 100 and the project was nominated for nine Grammy Awards in 2017. It was also listed by NPR as the sixth greatest album of all time directed by a woman. . He’s the best.