Beyoncé - Beyoncé
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2013 Ratings: #30 / 1035
User Score
2013 Ratings: #19
Liked by 25 people
December 13, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Columbia / Label
R&B, Pop / Genres
Suggest a Genre
Abuse of this feature may prevent future contributions from your account. / Website
Sign In to rate and review


In time, it should be seen as a career highlight from a superstar -- one of the hardest-working people in the business, a new mother, in total control, at her creative and commercial peak.
The Guardian

By far her most experimental and multi-layered album.

A.V. Club

That Beyoncé was able to keep a project of this scale completely under wraps is one of the most impressive tricks of her career, but the real feat is the album itself, a candid, confrontational work that dares to cut against the singer’s carefully cultivated goddess image to reveal the opinionated, imperfect woman underneath. 

Pretty Much Amazing

Beyoncé waited for the last moment to unveil 2013′s finest pop album. It arrived too late to enter our top ten lists, but just in time to own the year. 

Entertainment Weekly
Here more than ever Bey indulges clashing impulses — between strength and escape, megapop and fresh sounds, big messages and resonant lyrics.

This is her best album, more textured than its predecessors in both sound and content. 

FACT Magazine

A tour through Beyoncé’s backstory, a meditation on Third Wave feminism and a rejection of perfection, Beyoncé is the singer at her rawest, realest, and most personal, with a sound deeper and darker than ever before.


Indeed, at its dizzying zenith, beyoncé is a loaded fusion of generosity and self-empowerment. or perhaps, more accurately, it finds self-empowerment in generosity.

The 405

In my estimation, when critically examined, BEYONCÉ functions as a highly successful feminist manifesto.

It's as impressive an accomplishment creatively as it is for shifting the industry towards a more nontraditional take on the "single-album-tour" strategy.
‘Beyoncé’ is one of the best damn albums of 2013, basically, however you’re looking at it: as an R&B record, a pop set, an electro collection. Whatever your tastes, you can’t question the quality here.
The album is brassy but elegant, its post-coital breath smelling faintly of cheap liquor sipped from a crystal flute. It finds Beyoncé shifting gears to pull off her most explicit and sonically experimental music to date, exploring sounds and ideas at the grittier margins of popular music.
Consequence of Sound

It trafficks specifically in lost arts like sequencing, pacing, and mastering. It’s not concerned with moving units. It’s concerned with Beyoncé’s self-exploration, in a complicated, incredibly intriguing way.

There are no real bangers here, but for once that’s not a disappointment cushioned by wafty ballads. Instead the low-key, moody production throws the spotlight on the words and the images brought to play by Beyonce as serious album artist, encompassing bulimia, post-natal depression, the fears and insecurities of marriage and motherhood, and lots and lots of sex.
The album’s clearest message is that, beneath the second-guessing, Beyoncé is one hell of a pop star. We should get on board and enjoy the ride.

If there’s one thing you can take from BEYONCÉ, it’s that you never have to feel “bored” as she describes in “Ghost.” There’s always room to innovate.

Despite an army as deep and varied as any other Beyoncé album, what she’s found here is an honesty that’s just missing all too often from these sorts of raunch-fests.

Beyoncé is better than good, slickly packaged, created with the best of intentions yet still comes off as a postmodern mash of hubris, sincerity and gloss. It will be a hit regardless.

NOW Magazine
While there isn't a chart-smashing Single Ladies or Baby Boy in the mix, the resulting 14 tracks (plus 17 videos) make her most complete album to date.
The lack of universality to much of it keeps it from being the great album it wants to be, and some of the fascination seems to stem from 2013 celebrity culture obsession and speaks to the need to disappear from our own lives and become so wrapped up in the world of the rich and famous. Beyoncé does her part to make her world worthwhile, but it is our job to try and do the same.
Under The Radar
It's still a massive leap forward—hearing a superstar be honest about her desires, in love with a family, and calling for an end to unrealistic expectations for women is a pretty great thing to have on a platinum-selling album.
Drowned in Sound
As much as there is to admire in its forthright gender politics and bleeding edge approach to R&B, it’s a remarkably selfish listen. By favouring lavish presentation over tender blemishes, Mrs Carter is rarely portrayed as anything less than a remarkable human being. One who intends to arrest her commercial decline with pop’s most avant-garde album in years.
Rolling Stone
Beyoncé may have gotten "bored" with the popstar routine, as she confesses in "Ghost." But only massive hubris could have made a feat like this album possible. And Beyoncé's hubris makes the world a better, more Beyoncé-like place.
Slant Magazine
What makes the album significant is the fact that its creator is a bona fide superstar who, apparently, seems to care more about following her creative bliss than scoring easy hits. And it takes her (and us) to some mighty weird and exhilarating places.
The Needle Drop
Beyoncé Knowles' latest album is easily her most sexual and personal.
From the moment it was released, Beyoncé's fifth and best record was destined to be a cultural monolith. It was met with rave reviews by nearly every major publication, not to mention its near-ubiquitous status as an instant classic in the veins of Thriller. While I think the praise was a bit hasty, I maintain my opinion that it is the finest big-name pop album of the decade. I admit that it has a few duds: "Superpower", for instance, is snooze-worthy, Frank Ocean cameo be ... read more
Beyoncé has at last experimented with the themes she’s continuously half-explored throughout her decade(+)-long career—feminism, sexual expression, self-empowerment—and overall, she has created her most erotic, overtly feminist, and sonically experimental record to date. The intros and interludes of audio snippets seeming to act out Knowles’ childhood experiences and the segments of speeches discussing society’s expectations of women ... read more
Beyonce did go hard as fuck.

Decent 7
i went into this expecting enormously overrated pop music, and thats basically what i got. beyonce's surprise album is fun and enjoyable, but its shallow and doesnt bring too much new or daring material to the table. some of the production really was amazing, but i dont think beyonce herself contributed a whole ton to this album. she has hoards of writers and producers to back her up, and it feels as if all she really did was sing. even though thats a huge part of the album, it makes the ... read more
I really enjoyed this album. Fantastic production and amazing voice. Beyonce probably didn't have anything to do with the writing or production, but I can't deny the fact that this is a quality record. The album has a lot of replay value for me and it has a few of my favorite pop tracks of the decade.

Favorite tracks: Pretty Hurts, Haunted, Blow, No Angel, Partition, ***Flawless, Blue
Purchasing Beyoncé from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Track List

  1. Pretty Hurts 
  2. Haunted 
  3. Drunk In Love [ft. Jay Z]
  4. Blow 
  5. No Angel 
  6. Partition 
  7. Jealous 
  8. Rocket 
  9. Mine [ft. Drake]
  10. XO 
  11. lawless [ft. Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche]
  12. Superpower [ft. Frank Ocean]
  13. Heaven 
  14. Blue [ft. Blue Ivy]
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.

Added on: December 13, 2013