I Am ... Sasha Fierce
Love songs express affection and admiration for a special guy ("Halo," "Ave Maria," "Hello," "Satellites," "That's Why You're Beautiful" and "Smash Into You"). Beyoncé says she'll stick with her man, but is tired of playing the "Broken-Hearted Girl." "Disappear" and "Single Ladies" warn that romantic windows of opportunity will close, so we need to take risks and commit. "If I Were a Boy" empathizes with males, but ...
The singer/actress envies their ability to hang out, drink beer, chase girls, abuse a partner's faithfulness and "put myself first and make the rules as I go." She invites a lover to lust over her body via "Video Phone" ("What? You want me naked?/If you likin' this position you can tape it"). She confidently propositions a guy on "Ego" ("D--n, I know I'm killing you with them legs/Better yet, them thighs"). Arrogance and an s-word mar "Diva." "Single Ladies" features clubbing with a "drink in my cup ... a man on my hips," while "Radio" carries sexual overtones. Hearing the religious "Ave Maria" used in a song about a lover feels irreverent ("There's only us when the lights go down/... You are my heaven on earth/You are my last, my first").
Disc one has a smooth, pop/adult- contemporary sound. Then Beyoncé cuts loose on disc two with hip-hop and amped-up dance grooves. Some sweet moments (and lovely vocals), but I Am... has a split personality prone to wander into profane, sexual territory.