Five years ago on June 24th, 2011, Beyonce released her fourth solo studio album 4. As her first solo album independent from her former manager and father Matthew Knowles, Beyonce experimented with more intimate themes and urban sound stylings, setting the album apart from her first three LP’s. 4 was released at time when music was flooded with electronic pop sounds, and sub-par vocals. 4 went completely against that theme, and showed a more vulnerable and soulful side to the Queen that we had never seen before, with songs like “1+1″ and “Best Thing I Never Had”
Looking back, it is obvious that 4 served as the catalyst for Beyonce’s musical journey into exploring her womanhood on a deeper level liked displayed in last two albums BEYONCE and LEMONADE.
In an interview with VIBE Magazine, Symbolyc One, who was a co-producer on “Best Thing I Never Had” shared his experience with working with Bey on 4:
“Oh, she’s incredible. Like, I’ve never seen anything like it. And she’s so precise! Seeing her in the booth? It’s crazy, because she nails stuff to where you can tell she’s practiced and prepared up until that point to where it’s automatic for her, and she doesn’t have to think about it. She’s just knockin’ it out, knockin’ it out, and knockin’ all her vocals out, and then it’s done. And it sounds so good! Like… flawless! [Laughs] You can tell she’s worked for that up until this point, so when she’s in that moment, she’s not thinking about it, it’s automatic, first instinct.”
4 is clearly an underrated masterpiece! Check out Beyonce singing “Love On Top” live, while also being four months pregnant