Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
4 Music Poster Image
Diva's fourth CD is a little edgy but still OK for teens.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 8 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Some very positive messages (especially for young girls), like being strong and independent and making the most out of life: "I want to say I lived each day, until I die / I know that I had something in, somebody's life / The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave / That I made a difference, and this world will see."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Encourages listeners to be the best people they can be.


The tracks "1+1" and "Rather Die Young" include a few violent metaphors about falling in love: ""I don't know much about guns, but I've been shot by you."


Mild references to "lip-locking" and making love.


 "S--t" and a smattering of bleeped-out swearing ("f--k", the "N" word).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mentions drinking champagne and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 4 follows Beyonce's typical style: a few mature references here and there, though mostly clean throughout. More adult lyrics include some mentions of kissing and making love, a few allusions to drinking champagne and smoking, a handful of bleeped-out swear words, and a couple of oddly violent metaphors about how much Beyonce loves her guy. By and large, however, it's a pretty clean record that's OK for teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bylovekids2211 May 19, 2014

All 4 beyoncé!

This album is swell I totally agree with all Common Sense says about this album. It is not very profanic or sexual! I think that its really up to what you want... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byspeyan727 September 20, 2018
Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 November 6, 2013

Okay Album With A Few Good Songs

This isn't Beyonce's best album--some of the music sounds like a weird mashup of different tunes (i.e. Countdown, although it is catchy)--but overall... Continue reading

What's the story?

With a title that bears no hidden meaning, 4 is the fourth solo record from the R&B superstar who also sports just a one-word name: Beyonce. Lyrically, the 12 songs are similar to dozens of Beyonce hits that have come before, with little in the way of questionable content other than a few mild references to kissing, sex, champagne, and smoking. Profanity is limited to only one outright "s--t" and a few more bleeped-out words ("s--t," "f--k," the "N" word). While there are a couple of strangely violent metaphors about love -- comparing the feeling to being shot and lit on fire -- they're overshadowed by the super-positive messages about being a strong, independent person and getting the most out of life. Overall, the album is another positive pick for teens.

Is it any good?

The slower, sultry quality of several of these tracks ("I Miss You," "Love on Top") allows Beyonce's amazing pipes to shine through especially well. Particularly notable highlights include the guest performance by rapper Andre 3000, one half of the Outkast duo, and the super-upbeat single "Girls (Run the World)."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Beyonce has both changed and stayed the same between her first record, Dangerously in Love, and her fourth.

  • What are some aspects of Beyonce's style that have stayed the same over the years, despite her transformation into a huge star?

Music details

  • Artist: Beyonce Knowles
  • Release date: June 28, 2011
  • Type: Album
  • Label: Columbia
  • Genre: R&B
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate