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.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.