[Review] Surprise album almost great

By Chris Lau
By Chris Lau |

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Beyonce surprised the world last week by dropping her fifth studio album - also a self-titled one - without any notice, proving it's not impossible to keep a secret in this electronic age. What's more, her new genre-crossing record, which features 14 tracks, is worth every gimmick she carefully planned.

Beyonce is a great mix of electro, R&B and hip hop, and the beats offer enough chicness to be almost revolutionary.

The two plugged singles, XO and Drunk in Love, are highlights that carry a stylish amalgamation of the aforementioned genres. The groove-inducing beats are reminiscent of Kanye West. Drunk in Love features a Jay Z rap that's like most of West's top singles.

But for loyal fans, there is also the usual iconic stuff. Jealous is an interesting love song that features a great vocal and relaxing groove. The whispering/singing in No Angel sounds soft and fresh - a territory that the world-touring diva rarely touches on.

This album is full of new ideas and surprises, and the diva pulls it off effortlessly.