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Review | ‘Dangerously In Love’ Marks Beyoncé’s Big Solo Debut

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Unless you’ve lived under a rock or in total isolation for the past twenty years, it’s highly unlikely you’ve ever heard of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Better known by her first name, the singer, songwriter, activist and entrepreneur is not only one of the most recognizable voices of all time, but also one of the most important – blessed with an impeccable vocal range and albums who marked and continue to mark an era. . There’s a reason Beyoncé recently became the most-awarded woman in Grammy history and uses her artistic talents to extol black culture in dizzying fashion (well, remember the highly acclaimed ‘Lemonade’ or of the film ‘Black Is King’s visuals, two gems of the entertainment scene).

However, before venturing into her more political side, Beyoncé had participated in the group known as Destiny’s Child and, shortly after the girl group disbanded, she banked on a solo career filled with success and success. important transitions. Soon, in 2003, the performer will make her grand debut with the classic and memorable “Dangerously in Love”, the songs of which will be immortalized in the memory of fans and all who appreciate good and captivating music. Infused with contemporary R&B and inflections of Arabic pop and hip-hop, the compilation of originals is not only an ode to love, but also a throwback to her family’s Texas roots and the songs she once embodied. alongside Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Despite certain repetitions and misunderstandings, it is undeniable to comment on the timeless power that the album carries to this day.

Operating as an explosive amalgamation of different genres, Beyoncé had already followed the trends she had helped set in the mainstream since the 1990s, taking advantage of the gigantic popularization of R&B to build, alongside dozens of producers and songwriters, a passionate journey through multiple phases of passion and love. And it’s only smart that the opening track resonates with “Crazy In Love,” the debut single sung alongside Jay-Z and elated in ballads and playlists even in 2022. Nearly two decades later later, the vibrant, sultry lyrical plunge serves as a romantic anthem that deviates from the genre’s usual ballads and is driven by a hook so bubblegum that it’s almost impossible not to immediately recognize it when heard on… well, just about anywhere.

The solid kickoff is followed by two other tracks of equal success, not only commercially, but in relation to the project that is being created here. “Naughty Girl” and “Baby Boy” are positioned in second and third place respectively, in a kind of contrasting game between two characters who will develop a romantic bond – and both are marked by the strong use of oriental references, which appear at both in the delimited use of strings and the differentiated presence of synthesizers; here, Beyoncé’s vocals take on another layer, moving away from the power of the previous track and making a point of adopting a sexier and, at the same time, stronger identity (being sure of what she wants in his life).

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It’s not just the upbeat beats that make up the album’s setup – in fact, it’s remarkable how the record contains a striking variety of dance tracks, up-tempo up-tempos and ballads. There’s a subtle homage to Roberta Kelly in the amusing ‘Signs’, performed alongside the legendary Missy Elliott, whose tale uses the signs of the zodiac to talk about the ups and downs our Queen B has had throughout of her life – until she found what she was. looking for a Sagittarius man (and guess what? Jay-Z, Bey’s husband, is a Sagittarius); “The Closer I Get to You” is a passionate and chilling rendition between the lead singer and the iconic Luther Vandross, in which instrumental subtlety proves appropriate to highlight the duo’s chemistry; “Speechless” and “Dangerously in Love 2,” while employing some genre conventions, serve to showcase Beyoncé’s vocal range and absolutely fantastically breathtaking stylistic mastery.

The importance of the work for the music scene and for Beyoncé’s career is remarkable, of course, but that does not mean that the production is free from some very notable mistakes – and which, even with considerable expressiveness, are overshadowed. by the strategic location in which meet. We have, for example, “Hip Hop Star”, an inexplicable and forgettable R&B-rock trend that doesn’t live up to the other great iterations; “Be With You”, meanwhile, despite its allusions to Tyrone Davis, Shuggie Otis and 1970s stars, doesn’t seem to be completely fulfilled by its funk-disco soul, losing its strength as it goes on. it gives way to more structured songs (like “Me, Me and myself”); and “Yes,” even with incredible lyrical content, throws headlong into a relentless use of broken beats and dissonant synthesizers that wear us out for over four minutes.

“Dangerously In Love” marks a new chapter in Beyoncé’s career – and the first step toward a career that would be marked by revolutions, reinventions, and an undeniable legacy. The album may not be the best entry into her career, but it’s a glimpse of what she would come to offer us soon after.

Note per track:

1. Crazy Love, feat. Jay Z – 5/5
2. Naughty girl – 5/5
3. Baby boy, feat. Sean Paul – 5/5
4. Hip Hop Star, feat. Big Boi and Sleepy Brown – 1/5
5. Be with you – 2.5/5
6. Me, me and me – 3.5/5
7. Yes – 3/5
8. Signs, feat. Missy Elliott – 4/5
9. Speechless – 4/5
10. That’s How You Like It, feat. Jay Z – 3.5/5
11. The closer I get to you, feat. Luther Vandross – 5/5
12. Dangerously in Love 2 – 4/5
13. Beyoncé’s Interlude – 5/5
14. Virgo’s Gift – 5/5
15. Get by – 4/5

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