Thursday, June 3, 2010

Beyoncé's Next Album Era: The Era that will set the tone for the 2010s

Instead of doing part 3, which will be sometime next week, this is my blog entry. The IA...SF era is still going strong(still on the charts though it is like it going to leave's at #198 now). It's crazy when a video from a song that was already released(Why Don't You Love Me) and is almost 2 years old can still get this kind of buzz, especially from the bloggers. You have their "stans"(I put that in quotes because much of the time, they are just "rooting for the underdog" to take "replace" Bey), going mad and foaming at the mouth like they are possessed by a demon because they are afraid that the video will take shine away from the artist they are rooting for. *SMH at their tomfoolery*

All of this while the woman is on break. It confirms to me that the industry is ripe for Bey to take the industry into the next decade with the kind of music and showmanship that only she can bring. Looking at her musical catalogue, for her genre especially, she has been its standard-bearer as well as a pioneer. The freshness that Bey approaches with her music, sets herself miles apart from those who are supposedly her peers. In fact, they look up to her for inspiration and direction musicially and showmanship wise. Even if they don't want to admit it.

So what does that mean? It means that Bey will once again be the one who infuses energy and direction, just like she did with B'day at a time when Contemporary R&B especially was extremely formulaic(a couple of club-bangers to sell the album, one or two mid-tempos and the rest ballads because that's consider "real R&B") and even with Sasha Fierce with fusing different genres such as Folk Music, stripping down her vocal arrangements(On the I AM CD) into Contemporary R&B; Hip-Pop Soul as it's subgenre. A genre where vocal tracks are extremely important. That's quite a challenge and I believe she is up to it.

One of the things that I believe she will do is bring her fabulous band---Suga Mama---into the studio. Even Bibi, who is her band director, talked about how Bey in IA...SF used more guitars than on her two previous recordings: Totally! Her new album has more guitar on it but the previous album, that we did for the Experience tour, the B’Day album .. there is no guitar on that album. It’s all key-guitar, which was really cool for me because I got to come into the situation, write my own guitar parts and do what I wanted to do. She has never said she didn’t like it, so that was really cool.

To me, that this is part of the natural progression of Bey's music that has been going on since she was in Destiny's Child. One of the first articles on her by Sasha Frere Jones said that from her own lips, she was listening(studying) Miles Davis(Horn) and Fela Kuti(Sax). DIL and B'day was horn heavy in sound, especially. But not as much as with IA..SF. So I can see her using SM, to fuse both the guitar sound that Bibi and Divinity bring so well and bringing back those horns along with the saxs and pretty giving even more of a big band sound to Hip Pop Soul.

Instrumentation has always been a big part of what Beyoncé is about and this is the genre that is ripe for what Bey brings to the table. More importantly, SM is ready and this little step will be the most bold step for Hip Pop Soul, especially. Now maybe she won't do that. Maybe she will take another baby step toward that. I don't know. But I can see the progression and I am very confident that whether it is the next era, or the era after that one, she will take that step. The industry is ripe for it, and she has a great understanding for what the industry needs at the time also. Just like with B'day and just like IA...SF. All by being herself as an artist.

Also, I see an appreciation from the indie label artists, the kind that would frown on any other artist who does the music that Bey does. For example, Kevin Barnes from Of Montreal, already said that he has a song for her even if she don't want it. *LOL* This opens the door for her to use new blood and gives her an opportunity to fuse even more things into the sound that she has already established. Bey has an electic and varied taste in music, so this is something that she would embrace. I could see her tackling Grunge Music(for example) and fusing into her Urban Rhythmic Sound.

Not only does she have the musicianship to do it, but she also has the respect of the industry to make it work sincerely, without losing the foundation of who she is musically. That's the definition of progression and growth. It's not about completely changing your image, your sound to look as if you're re-inventing yourself, copying the Madonna playbook to show that you are growing artistically.

One of the problems with today's Contemporary R&B, especially Hip Pop, is that you have too many producers feeling themselves. Look at the Dream crying because people aren't appreciating his CDs like he thinks they should and he says he is no longer recording. *Waves GoodBye happily* Look how egotistical Timbaland is. He had the nerve to say that he was going to do Bey's whole album (the album that we now know as Sasha Fierce). Forget that Beyoncé always work with various producers so that you don't bog her down with a specific producer who has their signature sound where she can put her stamp on her songs. LOL. So definitely didn't sound like something that Bey would do(having a producer do her whole album). Especially with something as stale and trendy as his sound.

And I am not going to get into Ryan Tedder's antics with the whole Halo/Already Gone mess. *SMH* These "hit-makers" love themselves too much to realize that when you write/compose/produce a song for an artist, it's about the artist, not you. I am not saying that she shouldn't work with producers. Absolutely not. Bey works well with producers and with demos add the missing ingredient that the songs need. In fact, there are producers like Rodney Jerkins who said that he has song specifically for her. I approve because his ego is not big like theirs. I also have no problem with Amanda Ghost, either for example. They work well together. But I see her, especially with the love that she is getting from producers who aren't mainstream, fusing their sound with theirs and with them combined with Suga Mama in the studio creating something that will shock the ears of everyone who hears the CD.

Not that I need her to do those things. LOL!!!! But as the trend setter that she is, I believe this is the direction she is going. I had a feeling that when she did Irreplaceable, that she would kind of go in the direction that she did with what is eventually IA...SF, though I didn't expect Folk. That was a shock and something that my ears had to get used to with regards to Bey doing it. IMO, this is something that every Beyoncé fan should look forward to.

Yes, this has been one hell of an decade for her. Billboard Female Artist of the Decade. All of the Grammys and accolades that she has recieve. But she's coming into her prime as a vocalist, a performer and more importantly, as a musician. With this in mind, there is another gear that Bey will reach and as a fan, I am ready. I believe just as with last decade, Bey will do another project that in time, will define the decade. Are you ready?

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