Beyonce’s New Country Album ‘Cowboy Carter’ Drops To Praise

Fans and journalists alike are praising “Cowboy Carter,” Beyonce’s rhinestone-studded, history-rich honky tonk of an album, which is soaring in the charts following its highly anticipated release on Friday.

The 27-track second act of her “Renaissance” trilogy is a genre-bending success that celebrates Black country culture while paying a boisterous, wide-ranging homage to her southern origins.

“No one will mistake this sprawling set for ever following a straight path, or having a remotely dull moment,” noted the critic for the entertainment trade daily Variety.

“It’s almost as if Beyonce was witnessing some of the evolutionary leaps and hitches that country has been going through as it redefines its borders — as music has always done — and said, ‘Hold my Armand de Brignac. “I got this.”

“But it’s not just about what Beyonce can do for country music; it’s about what her concept of country can do for her, in terms of growing her musical empire and even her already finely polished sense of self. “That’s a lot.”

It’s too early to predict where “Cowboy Carter” and its extensive tracklist will finish on the charts, but streaming provider Spotify stated that as of Friday evening, it was the platform’s “most-streamed album in a single day in 2024 so far.”

The 42-year-old Houston native pioneered and mastered the surprise online album launch, but for the first two “Renaissance” albums, she employed a more traditional marketing plan, with targeted promotions and deluxe physical copies available for purchase.

When her homage to dancing “Renaissance” was published in 2022, it climbed to Billboard’s number one slot, and “Cowboy Carter” appears to be on track for a repeat.

Add in another blockbuster tour like she did for Act I — the “Beyonce bump” was literally blamed for boosting Sweden’s inflation rate and bolstering local businesses when it rolled into town — and Queen Bey will make a fortune.

This cover image released by Parkwood/Columbia/Sony shows “Cowboy Carter” by Beyoncé.


Hoedown throwdown

“Cowboy Carter” is a full-color showcase of how rich music can become outside the dusty confines of genre.

Beyonce brilliantly skewers critics — Nashville’s gatekeepers have long attempted to promote a narrow perspective of country music that is primarily white and male, both musically and sonically.

She takes listeners on a journey through the growth of country music, from African American spirituals and fiddle tunes to pioneering women like partner Linda Martell and a glimpse into the future.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who is both Black and South Asian, praised Beyonce for “reminding us to never feel confined to other people’s perceptions of what our lane is.” You have reinvented a genre and restored country music’s Black roots.

While “Cowboy Carter” teaches history, it is primarily a party film.

Among the fanfare, Beyonce provides heartfelt depictions of parenthood, celebrations of sex and love, and even a murder vengeance dream.

She also chose a mix of young talents (Miley Cyrus, Post Malone, and Tanner Adell) and old guard icons for her revue, including Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.

“My admiration runs so much deeper now that I’ve created alongside of her,” Cyrus wrote on social media.

The elders appear on the album as radio DJs on a fictional broadcast, with Nelson urging listeners: “Now for this next tune, I want y’all to sit back, inhale, and go to the good place your mind likes to wander off to.”

And Parton introduces the album’s rendition of “Jolene,” making connections between her own original story of a lover fearing betrayal and Beyonce’s personalized version, which references her 2016 song “Sorry” about her husband Jay-Z’s infidelity.

“Hey, Miss Honey B, it’s Dolly P,” sings Parton during her interlude. “You know, that hussy with the good hair you sang about reminded me of someone I knew back then.” Except she has scorching auburn hair. “Bless her heart.”

“Just a hair of a different color, but it hurts just the same.”

Then there’s “Ya Ya,” a loud, psychedelic soul dance mash-up that incorporates both Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” and The Beach Boys.

And “Sweet Honey Buckiin'”—which combines hip-hop and house with strums on loop—is one of the songs that pays homage to the first act of “Renaissance,” which honored electronica’s Black beginnings and progress.

In a nutshell, the record is epic, fresh, and has the ability to open doors.

“With this endlessly entertaining project, she gets to be a warrior of female and Black pride and a sweetheart of the radio,” according to Variety.

“Because being Beyonce means never having to pretend to be just one thing.”

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