Beyonce

Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
Beyonce Music Poster Image
Stunning album is compelling, creative; some profanity.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

B continues to devote herself more and more to explicit feminist statements, empowering herself as a sex symbol. The exciting "***Flawless" samples a speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche about the troubling expectations society has for young girls. 

Positive role models & representations

Beyonce's songs are growing increasingly introspective and self-critical, while managing to stay positive and universal. It's inspiring to see such a dynamic artist present a cohesive and clear vision in the realm of pop music.

Violence

Beyonce leads some sort of love-centric revolution in the video for "Superpower" that includes destroying police cars, throwing smoke grenades, and charging a line of riot police.

Sex

Although there's barely any explicit language, many songs are bursting with seductive metaphors and words such as "cherry," "blow," and "rocket," which are all not-so-subtle double entendres. The music videos that accompany the entire album are hot and heavy, featuring a writhing and scantily clad Beyonce and backup dancers gyrating suggestively in almost every sequence. Particularly provocative is the video for "Haunted," which seems to take place in a creepy and kinky brothel, and there are many other instances of artfully simulated sex and strip-club imagery.

Language

The clean version easily covers up the few instances of explicit language, which include "bitch," "s--t," and "f--ked."

Consumerism

Though some of the imagery in the music videos suggests a critique of materialism and the world of the upper crust, it's impossible to deny that B indulges in the image of extreme luxury she and her husband have cultivated. There are plenty of diamonds, expensive gowns, and tricked-out cars, as well as a few references to expensive alcohol ("D'Usse" cognac, Armand de Brignac champagne).

Drinking, drugs & smoking

The lyrics themselves only make a few references to drinking (especially the Jay-Z collaboration "Drunk in Love"), but several of the videos include slow-motion shots of people smoking cigars and cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Beyonce's self-titled album is a stunning and powerful artistic expression. Embracing her status as a sex symbol and global icon, Queen B lets fans see an intimate, self-critical side of herself that reveals an authentic and grateful superstar at the peak of her powers. By addressing her own demons of jealousy, her body consciousness, and her humble origins, she challenges the public perception of her "perfect" life and pop-star privilege. Although there's barely any explicit language, many songs are bursting with seductive metaphors and words such as "cherry," "blow," and "rocket," which are all not-so-subtle double entendres. The clean version easily covers up the few instances of explicit language, which include "bitch," "s--t," and "f--ked." The music videos that accompany the entire album are hot and heavy, featuring a writhing and scantily clad Beyonce and backup dancers gyrating suggestively in almost every sequence.

User Reviews

Parent Written bylivelight2911 December 29, 2013

Beyonce's Latest Album is one you might want to skip

Fans everywhere celebrate the release of Beyonce’s new visual album. Countless tweets of “Bey is queen”, “Beyonce is f***ing perfect”, “all I want in life is to... Continue reading
Parent Written bylovekids2211 May 19, 2014

Queen Bey at it again!

This album is fantab. Beyoncé is a beast! this album does have great messages for people! There are just a couple things you should know. 1.) there are one or t... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byclassygirl14 December 31, 2013

Most empowering album of the year

This album is so good. Beyoncé is incredibly talented and the beats are wet. If parents are worried about their kids listening to it, I would say don't wor... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 26, 2014

Ok for 16+

This album sports some inappropriate references! Partition is probably the worst, with Beyonce saying "Yeah he so h****, yeah he want to f****" ! This... Continue reading

What's the story?

BEYONCE is the self-titled new studio album from former Destiny's Child star Beyonce Knowles. Announced and released unexpectedly on the same day, Beyonce is also a visual album, with 17 videos accompanying the 14 official tracks. The record features collaborations with Drake, Justin Timberlake, and husband Jay-Z, as well as production from go-to hit-makers such as Timbaland and Pharrell Williams. There's a basic underlying plot following a pageant queen watching her dreams come true, which mirrors many elements of the star's own life and career path. There's even a cameo from the newest addition to the Carter family, B's daughter Blue Ivy.

Is it any good?

Beyonce has always been a gifted vocalist with a pop-savvy style, but she has taken her creativity to new heights with this effort. The beats are consistently crisp and fresh, drawing equally from hip-hop, electro-pop, and vintage R&B influences. The lyrics are confessional and relatable, and the videos are provocative and visually stimulating. From the beautiful and emotional "Pretty Hurts" to the lusty and bubbly disco number "Blow" to the epic ballad "Jealous," Beyonce is stacked top to bottom with catchy tunes and powerful imagery.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the unique way in which Beyonce released her album (unannounced and with 17 accompanying music videos). How has the Internet changed the way artists and record labels approach distribution and marketing?

  • Beyonce directly addresses the expectations of perfection she has faced her whole life, including multiple allusions to eating disorders in the music video for "Pretty Hurts." Do you think it's important for famous women to use their platform to start a conversation on this delicate issue?

  • This album is filled with references to Beyonce's personal life and even includes home video footage of her as a little girl. Why do you think this larger-than-life celebrity wanted to give her fans a window into her past and present realities?

Music details

  • Artist: Beyonce Knowles
  • Release date: December 13, 2013
  • Type: Album
  • Label: Columbia
  • Genre: R&B/Pop
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes

For kids who love R&B divas

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