Everything you need to know about “Act II Cowboy Carter”, Beyoncé’s new album

The wait is almost over. Beyoncé will present her eighth studio album on March 29. Act II Cowboy Carter. In this work, the American singer tests new records and shows those who still doubt that she is one of the most protean voices in American music.

Act II Cowboy Carteran album with country influences

A little less than two years after the critical and public consecration of Renaissance, Beyoncé returns with a new album in which she redraws the contours of country. The superstar’s fans had already anticipated this musical turn after her appearance on February 5 at the last Grammy Awards ceremony. For the occasion, Beyoncé wore a wide-brimmed white cowboy hat that heralded a new era in her discography.

A few days later, the multi-award-winning artist confirmed her fans’ intuition by revealing, during halftime of the Super Bowl final, two songs from her ninth album. Texas Hold’em and 16 wagons They are produced by Raphael Saadiq, with whom Solange Knowles, Beyoncé’s sister, had already collaborated on her album A seat at the table. 16 wagons It is the song where the country sounds are felt the most, although the acoustic guitars and the bass drum Texas Hold’em We also remember this emblematic genre of deep America.

AND Act II Cowboy Carter Intended to be an exploration of American traditional music, Beyoncé insists it is not a country album. “It’s a Beyoncé album,” she explained on Instagram. She added that this album constituted Act II of her three-part project. Renaissance.

A musical and social revenge

The notion of rebirth is at the center of Act II Cowboy Carter. First of all from a musical point of view. Beyoncé first explored country music in 2016 with Dad’s lessonstaken from his album phenomenon Lemonade. This song, in which the singer settles scores with her husband, Jay-Z, and her father, Mathew Knowles, was denied the “country” label at the Grammy Awards. A disappointment that, however, will not prevent him from interpreting Dad’s lessons during the Country Music Association Awards Ceremony, with the Chicks.

But also in this case Beyoncé does not receive the expected reception. Her performance was strongly criticized by some country fans, and even by iconic figures of the genre such as Travis Tritt. “As a country singer, I feel insulted that the CMA thinks we need to have a pop artist at our awards show to draw crowds,” she said on Twitter at the time, after ET Canada.

The American superstar recently returned to this episode of his career in a post on Instagram. “(Act II Cowboy Carter) is the fruit of more than five years of work. It was born out of an experience I had several years ago where I didn’t feel welcome…and it was very clear that I wasn’t. But thanks to this experience, I dove deeper into the history of country music and studied our rich musical archives (…). The criticism I faced when I started in this genre forced me to go beyond the limits that had been imposed on me,” he wrote.

By releasing an album with country sounds, Beyoncé joins a line of African-American artists who have tried their luck in this musical genre. These include Lesley Riddle, Ray Charles, Lionel Richie and Charley Pride. The latter released more than fifty hit country songs between the years 1960 and 1980, according to the New York Times. Linda Martell, The Pointer Sisters and Tina Turner have also released country-sounding songs.

More recently, Lil Nas Old town road. In the music video for this song, the young man rides a horse in a shabby cowboy outfit. Despite these allusions to the Western universe and the participation of country star Billy Ray Cyrus, Old town road However, it will not appear in the Billboard ranking dedicated to this musical genre. The magazine considered that the title “did not bring together enough elements of the current country” to be included.

It is already a critical and popular success.

Beyoncé, fortunately, did not suffer the same fate with the first two singles fromAct II Cowboy Carter. Texas Hold’em rose to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs less than two weeks after its release, while 16 wagons He found himself in ninth place in this ranking. A feat that earned him congratulations from Dolly Parton, a great icon of the country. “Congratulations on your single number one on Billboard Hot Country. “I can’t wait to hear the full album,” she said on Instagram.

Beyoncé is the first African American whose single reached the top of the Hot Country Songs chart one week after its release. She is also the second female artist in history to achieve this feat, according to the guardian. Before her, Taylor Swift topped this American ranking with her songs Love story and All very well. It’s a safe bet that other pieces ofAct II Cowboy Carter will appear on this list when this album is released on March 29.

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