Beyoncé’s new country album: Cowboy Carter

On February 11, 2024, families were seated around the TV watching the Super Bowl. All of a sudden, there was a Verizon advertisement, and Beyoncé was in it! It seemed to be just a normal ad, until she said the words, “Time for a surprise drop.” At that moment, Beyoncé released the songs “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” and “16 CARRIAGES.” 

Coming off of her 2022 album, “RENAISSANCE,” fans had theorized that Beyoncé would create a country album, and with the release of these surprise songs, they were correct. That country album turned out to be “COWBOY CARTER,” Beyoncé’s seventh album. Are the songs on “COWBOY CARTER” worth a listen? This review will go in order, starting with “AMERIICAN REQUIEM” and ending with “AMEN.”


The opening to this song, being the opening to the album, is so beautiful. The harmonies on the lyrics “American Requiem / Them big ideas (yeah), are buried here (yeah) / Amen” feel super light and delicate, but also exert a sense of powerfulness that is completely expected from Beyoncé. 

She gives the track energy with lyrics like, “Can we stand for something” and, “But let me make myself clear,” but draws the energy back in at the end by repeating the introduction to the song. If Beyoncé knows one thing, it’s how to introduce an album. 


She made a bold choice to include a cover as the second track of the album. The song “Blackbird” was originally written by Paul McCartney for the Beatles. I found it interesting that Beyoncé added many other artists to the song. The blend between Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy, Reyna Roberts, and Tanner Adell on the second verse was very smooth, and their voices just complemented each other beautifully. 


I like how distinct the song is from a lot of other country music. Beyoncé shows that she has something new to bring to the genre with her mixing hip-hop aspects into country music. 

The main chorus part has a slower, calmer beat with the lyrics smoothly flowing, but there are points in the song that sped up as she was rapping her lyrics. She powerfully executed the high notes at the end of some of the main choruses of this song. 


I loved that she opened this song with her daughter asking for a lullaby. It was extremely wholesome with themes of her protecting her children and trying her best to be a role model for them. 

The breathiness in her vocals and the calm guitar strumming in the background made it sound very much like a classic song that you’d find on country radio. The first three songs of the album have been very cohesive with the amount of energy being put into the vocals and lyrics, but this song abruptly turned down the liveliness of the album. It was okay, but I can’t say it was my favorite off this album.


The beginning felt like something that Destiny’s Child would’ve made around the time they released the album, “The Writing’s On the Wall.” 

The “la-la-la” sections packed the song with energy, which made it enjoyable although it is so short.


Nostalgia washed over me hearing the radio switching and having different types of older music playing throughout. The staticky transitions between the various types of songs were interesting and creative.

 It seems to transition into the next song.


I wanted to start square dancing when I heard this song. It has such a vibrant energy to it with all the exciting lyrics and catchy choruses. 

I like how it slows down and switches the beat at the end, with the same lyrics. It adds a more sensual feeling and elevates the track a lot. 


This song has such a different vibe to it than the rest. It sounds somewhat futuristic with the high-pitched hums and the faster guitar. Beyoncé’s voice is extremely smooth on this song and it helps the track sound even more advanced. 

I love the message of the song. It has a similar message to “PROTECTOR” with the idea of Beyoncé somewhat guarding someone. In this song, it is more of a friendly take. She has lyrics in this song like, “I’ll protect you in the mosh pit” and, “I’ll defend you in the gossip” that show that she will always protect this person. This song is infectious and the unforgettable choruses, along with the powerful lyrics, make it extremely fun to listen to.


What’s better than having a transition with the country legend Dolly Parton? She references her song, Jolene, with a line about “flaming locks of auburn hair,” of course with the name being the first word said in the song. It’s a very smart transition moving into the next song, which is a cover of Dolly’s hit song.


I like how similar this is to Dolly’s version but also how different it is! The same classic instrumentals are present with the same repetition of the name Jolene. The lyric change from, “I’m begging you, please don’t take my man” to, “I’m warning you, don’t come for my man” is super cool as well due to Beyoncé showing off how strong her marriage with Jay-Z is. 

Beyoncé has shown her power throughout the album, but she exerts it even further here through her use of strong lyrics like, “So you don’t want no heat with me, Jolene” and the previously mentioned, “I’m warning you, don’t come for my man.” Beyoncé is very known in the music industry for her vast portfolio of music, and this album just helps strengthen that unique genre diversity even more. Show them what’s up Queen B!


The song has a very mysterious vibe to it with her more harsh vocals and the quick repetition of the guitar stringing in the background. One thing I definitely wasn’t expecting on this country album was for her to start singing in Italian! She used the song “Caro Mio Ben” by Tommaso Giordani as part of this song, which added elements of opera to this track. The album has already crossed through genres like hip-hop, pop, and country, but the introduction of opera music is beneficial to the album as a whole. Having parts of other songs included in a track adds a nostalgic feel to it and makes the song flow smoother. 

Overall, the song had lots of elements you wouldn’t normally find in a country song, which makes this song riveting to listen to.


Linda Martell’s line at the start of this song is a cornerstone of Beyonce’s technique for this album. “Genres are a funny little concept, aren’t they?” 

She mixes Italian Classical lyrics into “DAUGHTER,” hip-hop vocals into “16 CARRIAGES,” and a pop vibe in “BODYGUARD.” I loved the idea, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the performance. I felt that with the rest of the album, it seems to be very random. Coming off a song that had opera elements and mysterious instrumentals, the heavy rap in this song completely stopped the beautiful flow that this album had up to here.


This song is so cool! I like the simple drum and guitar patterns, and the lightness of her vocals. It’s much more calm of a song than the rest of the album, but it still has the essence of a song like “16 CARRIAGES” with suspense building up to the choruses and the vocal styles being similar between the songs. I wouldn’t listen to it on its own, but I think it was definitely a cool-down moment from the last song.


It was creative when Beyoncé did the “SMOKE HOUR ★ WILLIE NELSON” radio transition to feed into “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM,” but doing the same thing in this track felt boring. From what this album has been so far, having Beyoncé doing a shorter song to transition into the next longer song like “MY ROSE” would be a much better choice than having someone talk about the song like the previous Smoke Hour transition. A different person talking could’ve worked better too as we’ve already had Willie Nelson lead into a song earlier in the album. 


This song is extremely calm. I really like the piano in the background when it comes to slower country-style music. It seems like something I’d listen to when sitting around a campfire cooking up a s’more, lying down to go to bed. Having Willie Jones on this song is perfect, too! I think that his main verse complemented his voice extremely well. His laid-back vocals suited the gentle instrumentals fantastically.


Miley Cyrus?! What is she doing here? Their voices work extremely well together, and I love it. Miley has been known recently for her work in more pop-based songs like “Flowers” and “Doctor (Work It Out).” My only criticism is that the starting chorus harmonies seem like they should be the ending chorus harmonies. It would’ve felt like the calmer songs earlier in the album if instead of having the two artists split to different harmonies at the end and kept the first chorus as a monotone chorus with their vocals blending together. It was nice hearing Miley and Beyoncé collaborate on this song though.


Beyoncé’s voice on this track complemented the feeling of the song flawlessly. The instrumentals are calm and her voice just fades in perfectly with it. I just can’t say the same thing about Post Malone. To me, his voice does not complement the instrumental or the country genre well. His voice fits better on his normal tracks, which are more pop and hip-hop-based. The end frustrates me too. The background voices for Post Malone are calm and collected, but he sounds like an angry animal. This listen made me more discouraged than happy.


The harmonies are intriguing right off the bat. The instrumentals and the harmonies are like peanut butter and jelly. Sadly, I don’t like the melodies. In the verses, the phrases “wander” and “loved you” go to a higher note at the end, and this was a detail I didn’t like. The ending is pretty, and for it being a shorter song, it did its job. 


Beyoncé had the idea to stage it so another artist (in this case, Linda Martell) is saying how the next song is such a “unique” track, but she has done this same transition twice already with “SMOKE HOUR ★ WILLIE NELSON” and “SMOKE HOUR II.” The third time was not the charm here. It disrupts the flow that “FLAMENCO” had just set the song before, and it makes me feel like the album won’t continue to have great songs in a row like earlier.


I don’t like this song. The start feels extremely awkward. It feels like the start of the Barbie movie with the “Hi Barbie!,” “Hi!” thing. I’m confused on why she spelled her name out as B-E-Y-I-N-C-É. It felt way too long for what it was, and I’ll happily skip this song when I hear it.


This album is on the right track with the song introductions! Having a shorter song with Beyoncé actually singing, unlike some of the other transitional pieces, is perfect. Using a Chuck Berry sample was smart. Thank you for switching up your introductions, Beyoncé!


This one’s very fast-paced and lively! It felt very simple, which is usually a good thing. Sadly, the song is only 1 minute and 12 seconds long. The song had a great amount of energy with the “do-si-do” parts and the vibrant instrumentals in the chorus. It could’ve been really good if it went a little longer!


This is super intriguing! It felt like a country track mixed with a dance track, and it keeps the energy up. It got repetitive, but at the same time, it kept the energy. I could dance to this for a while! It felt free and as long as it needed to be. I like how she had higher notes at different parts too. This song was a perfect addition to this genre-mixing album. 


This song makes me want to dance just like the last song! It keeps a fun energy once again but with more focus on the instrumental. I like the “Bottle in my hand, my whiskey up high” part so much. The vocals are perfect, and the melody is just beautiful. The bridge calmed the song down and calms the listener down, just for the energy to come back! Super exciting to hear something like this near the end of the album.


This has a nice energy, but the fun stopped rather quickly. Sometimes she was rapping, sometimes she was singing, but there never was a true flow. It was extremely unpredictable, making it hard to enjoy. 


The calm and refined instrumentals and vocals of the song stayed consistent, and for once in this album, the rapping in this actually elevated the piece. I liked how the flow switched up and still felt the same as before. It felt like the song went through different faces but was still smooth. 


Just like Beyoncé knows how to introduce an album, she also knows how to end an album correctly. “AMEN” had a very calm feeling, while still having extremely strong and powerful harmonies. It ties the different songs off the album together and has a calm ending. The ending of the song connecting the first track to the end is perfect. The lyric switch from “Them big ideas” to “Them old ideas” was a thoughtful change. She showed that not all music in a genre is the same, and there is so much to be discovered in music by connecting genres together and finding peace and harmony between the genres. A fantastic way to end the album.


Overall, I found this album to have a really interesting concept of switching and combining genres to elevate the collection. There were mainly calm country tracks like “BLACKBIIRD,” “PROTECTOR,” and “AMEN ,” but there were also more diverse tracks with different genres like the rap-based “SPAGHETTII” and the dance-based “RIIVERDANCE.” Beyoncé said in “AMERIICAN REQUIEM” that people said that she “wasn’t country enough,” but in this album, she proved that she is definitely country enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *