By: Twitter Buttons

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Jack of all Trades...

Is it me or is Beyonce getting tres annoying? Now before you all sing a chorus of "Hi Hater", realise that this statement is coming from a Beyonce fan...or ex fan...well I'm going to her concert in May so I guess I still like the girl. I followed DC, watched every documentary and interview on MTV, rinsed her solo albums, knew all of her dance routines - my girls can vouch for that; writhing around on my living room floor practising the 'Baby Boy' routine - good times!!

So what went wrong? Three things for me. The first two are sort of interlinked. When Beyonce started on her 'journey to an Oscar', appearing in films in the hope of becoming a major movie star, I watched through my fingers -you know, the same way you watch a friend who thinks she can sing, giving it her all with a terrible rendition of Mariah Carey's Hero, complete with ad libs, neck movements and eyes clenched in emotion... She's just not that great. 6 months with an acting coach does not turn you into Dame Judi Dench, ok honey.

With the films came the over-exposure, my second reason. When Usher goes away in between albums - he makes a baby or something. When Justin Timberlake goes away, you start to miss him. When Beyonce goes away-she doesn't. Its just like 'arrggghhh get out of my face dammit!' Yes, I know she is on the Diva tip, wanting to be a legend, the next Barbara Streisand (her words not mine) but is that really feasible? Jack of all trades, master of none, hmmm?

That leads me on to my final reason. The talent. Is B that great of a singing talent - one guaranteed for legendary status? Will she ever be that ultimate Diva she plans on becoming? Is she one already? Listening to her new album 'I Am...Sasha Fierce', I'm not convinced. 'Halo' is my fave track on the slow CD, basically the only song I like, but with the rumours that Simon Cowell accused Beyonce of stealing it from Leona Lewis, I can't help resenting B's oversinging and feel that Leona would have done a better job. The second CD...hmmm ok, but still not great. Can B really do both - the Barbara Streisand romantic ballad image as well as the ride-or-die, RnB chick - watch the DIVA video and tell me if you think it's believable.

Let me just say that it's not all bad - I think she has a great voice and is a mesmirising performer; despite competition in the form of Keyshia Cole, Rihanna, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Jazmine Sullivan et al, I think B is still the reigning Queen. However, is it only a matter of time, (poor songs, confusing musical direction and bad acting performances) before her crown slips? Or is B the definition of versatility and longevity in the entertainment indusry. What do you think, has B still got it?



  1. Funny you put this up because we've been arguing about this in the pbleepd camp for ages. I personally think she's overrated. She's undoubtedly got the talent in terms of the voice and performance but what use is it if she's gonna make songs with no substance?

    She needs originality because everything seems to be a remake or re-enactment of her previous songs or someone elses videos etc. Like you said also Shanti she needs time off our screens because it will work better for her in the long run. Her voice and performances definitely suggest longevity but it's whether she will substitute her label's demands for great music that will determine whether she can be considered one of the best.

  2. I think B is a fantastic singer and all round entertainer. She has that X Factor you need to be a star. However, she needs to leave the acting alone because the lady cannot act - no matter how hard she tries and how many top actors she tries to pair herself up with - her acting skills are just not there. Jennifer Hudson was rightfully the star of Dream Girls and made what was really an average film into a huge success. B just did not shine at all and was frankly embrarrassing. To make matters worse B has a new movie out called Obsessed which is basically a black version of Fatal Attraction. She is starring opposite Idriss Elba, who I thought would have had more sense. Check it out and tell me if you think it is as horrendous as I do.

  3. Ondo Lady my friend, I have seen the trailer...and I'm with you. I feel almost sorry for her because she wants to be this amazing actress soooo bad. She's really trying but I'm sorry, she just doesn't cut it. Maybe if she went away, did a few YEARS extensive training, diction lessons, study the craft the same way she did with the music, then maybe she might be something. I'm still going to watch the film though - I love me some Idriss Elba mmmm...

    Broadband, the same here, I have been having disussions with my girls about her songs, one said "how long is she gonna keep talking about 1) going out with my girls, 2)being an independent, single, sexy female, 3) being dangerously in love?" In regards to content and substance, I think her problem is that she is too private/closed off. All the artists I go crazy over are in my list because they let you get close to them - you can relate to them, sing along and feel the same way they do - there's a connections as psycho as that sounds. Keyshia Cole for one is raw, she tells you how it is - her real life experiences touch you and you can say "I feel what you're saying girl". Teedra Moses is another - she wears her emotions on her sleeve and projects that in her music. But Beyonce - she has always been private about her personal life and her performances to me seem too staged, especially the slow songs, like she's too aware of herself. In her interviews she always sounds media trained - giving answers Papa Knowles put into her ear, always saying the right things. Even after all of these years, I feel that I still don't know what Beyonce is like, what her personality is. I don't feel like that comes across in her song content so until B opens up and stops making formulaic music with the aim to chart at number 1, then the DIVA status will remain on hold I'm afraid.

  4. QUOTE: 'I feel that I still don't know what Beyonce is like, what her personality is. I don't feel like that comes across in her song content so until B opens up and stops making formulaic music with the aim to chart at number 1, then the DIVA status will remain on hold I'm afraid'

    I cosign this statement to the fullest

  5. I dunno, I am slightly torn.

    She has a voice which could match most singers. But i don't think she does enough artistically. I'm not saying go Kanye West on us (maybe it would be nice to see her dropping a couple of rhymes) but she does not seem to challenege herself with her music. I think she is versatile and can do both ballad and up tempo. I just think she could do both better - which is annoying.

    Re her subject matter - i don't know if i'm mad at her for being strong and independent. It's her view on love and i think it is a welcome addition to the different ways in which Alicia Keys, Mary J Blige and Mariah Carey speak on it.

    I think this is her personality - she is strong, dedicated and independent minded. For what it is worth i think the message has kinda changed from Bills Bills Bills and Independent Ladies, which was kind of male bashing.

    Messages about self worth such as 'Broken Hearted Girl' and 'Irreplacable' are good but i suppose can across as arrogant. Then you got her view on relationships, which i thing makes alot of sense. She talks about relationships in 'Upgrade You' (yeah it got caught up in commercialism but if you look beneath it is interesting) and 'Put a Ring On It'.

    I think alot of her bad press stems from way back. They say first impressions are real important and i couldn't agree more. I am still sour about that whole Destiny Child replacement thing. Add all this with her oversaturation and single mindedness - its like, ok! I got it!

    Ps. re the acting - yeah not feeling it. But if someone could also let Alicia Keys down gently - thanks.

  6. aghhh you stole my bog idea!
    But very well put.
    I too, have been an appreciator of Beyonce's music since she first started, however have just recieved her new album..its quite a lazy one dont you agree?

  7. Shanti, in relation to your comments about singers like Keyshia Cole making you feel like you know exactly what they are going through. My comment is that Keyshia has had a really traumatic life and Mary J Blige and Aretha Franklin went through some major drama. I think experiences like that shape you as a person and artist and allows you to sing with serious emotion and convey what you are feeling. From what little I know of B, aside from her parent's brief separation she has had a pretty boring life. Now don't get me wrong I am not stating that in order to sing you need to have been through all sorts but I would say life experience plays its part. And from what I can tell B really has not got a lot to say.

  8. Miss Fab Black, continue to write your blog on it, it's such as hot topic at the moment so people will always find something say. I was on the phone for over an hour discussing this further with a friend of mine*** and I've stll got more to get off my chest.

    Like Ondo Lady's point, I guess to some extent, I like the artists I like because you can really hear the emotion, they are really singing from experience. But B's life couldn't have been THAT boring, my goodness lol! I don't know, a part of me thinks that she just doesn't want to go there. But that also adds to my point, who knows what B has gone through? Who knows B? And is it our right to know all the ins and outs about a celeb's life, or did B give up the privacy that she clings so tightly to when she decided to become an 'artist'?

    Anonymous - lol at the Alicia Keys comment! I agree, B's content is quite positive in an 'independent woman' kind of way - not knocking it. But I also agree that positive or not - I'm bored of it. This ties into what Fab Black Woman said - her stuff seems like a lazy effort. During my phone converstation, my friend*** made a good point - she's not a trendsetter. She's not forward thinking, she doesn't ever come with something out of the box -you don't go 'wow'. I remember she said she knocked the B-Day album out in 2 weeks. Who knows how long she spent on this one in between all of the movies and other committments. She really needs to take a break, go see a councillor who will break her down and come with something new. I am actually rooting for her despite all of this criticism. If you could give B one piece of positive career advice, what would it be? (No, something other than give up acting!)

  9. My advice would be for her to take a VERY long vaca and come back with a different hairstyle.

  10. I have more respect for Beyonce NOW than I did ten years ago. Between 1999-2007, I attended over forty concerts, mostly by so-called "real, unmanufactured" artists, and was continually disappointed by their lack of singing ability and/or stage presence. As a result, I "cooled" on R&B/Soul/Hip Hop and focused instead on Jazz, because artists in THAT genre actually deliver time and time again. Twenty years ago, the hype surrounding a "Beyonce-type" would have been unjustified because of the depth of talent in the market, but in this day and age, Beyonce deserves high praise. Furthermore, she's about the work and nothing more; I like that. Save the "publicity stunt" drama and "woe is me" tales for artists who can't deliver nor compete. Live, Beyonce is always on point, and this year she impressed me with her vocal versatility and power. With records sales on the the decline, artists will have to rely more on concert sales, and some artists just ain't gonna cut it. Check youtube for her live renditions of "I'd Rather Go Blind(Cadillac Records)","Ave Maria(Christmas tree lighting)",and "The Way We Were(at the Kennedy Center Honors)" to witness her growth. If Beyonce can transfer the magnetism of these performances onto a studio album, she'll have her first magnum opus. As for her latest album, I actually prefer the Beyonce (Ballad) side to the Sasha Fierce side... Admittedly, the trailer for 'Obsessed' isn't very good, but I think she did a surprisingly good job in 'Cadillac Records'; her best work to date surely. It's a great film all around, definitely go support it. As to her taking a break...only if she wants to; she shouldn't be beholden to anyone else's schedule. One should never disminish their own light to appease others. If you don't want to see it/her, turn away. That's what I do now, when it comes to most R&B/Soul/Rap acts, even the so-called "Neo-soul and conscious types."

  11. You've got a point... but I really do feel for Beyonce, I know absence makes the heart (...ear) grow fonder... but she can't afford to take a break because she has got the likes of Rihanna trying to steal her crown.

    Imagine, Rihanna has released 8 singles off one album... talk about milking it...

  12. I think beyonce has undeniably talent, whether someone likes her or not, you cant deny that the girl can sing.

    also with beyonce i grew up listening to her, i remember listening to her when she was in destiny's child with the ORIGINAL members! how many artists can you say are still around? still relevant? when so many r&b and pop singers come and go so fast.

    i dont think its fair to list rihanna, she cant sing, im sorry, but it's the truth. she does have does have a knack for being marketable and i think that's what keeps her around.



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