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RnB 29/03/2024

Beyonce Releases "Cowboy Carter"

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Beyonce Releases "Cowboy Carter"
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Beyoncé's eighth studio album is available worldwide now. act ii COWBOY CARTER arrives today following the successful release of two lead singles, "TEXAS HOLD 'EM" and "16 CARRIAGES" on February 11, Superbowl Sunday.

"TEXAS HOLD 'EM" landed across nine different genres on US music charts including Pop, Hot AC, Country, Rhythmic, Urban, and R&B, and making history with Beyoncé becoming the first Black female artist to reach No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart and No. 1 on the Hot 100 Chart with a Country song. It also spent four weeks at the top of the UK music charts.

COWBOY CARTER, executive produced by Beyoncé, is about genres, all of them, while deeply rooted in Country. This is the work of an artist who thrives in her freedom to grow, expand, and create limitlessly. It makes no apologies, and seeks no permission in elevating, amplifying, and redefining the sounds of music, while dismantling accepted false norms about Americana culture. It pays homage to the past, honoring musical pioneers in Country, Rock, Classical, and Opera.

The album is a cornucopia of sounds that Beyoncé loves, and grew up listening to, between visits and eventually performances at the Houston Rodeo - Country, original Rhythm & Blues, Blues, Zydeco, and Black Folk. The album wraps itself in pure instrumentation in a celebratory authentic gumbo of sounds using among others, the accordion, harmonica, washboard, acoustic guitar, bass ukulele, pedal steel guitar, a Vibra-Slap, the mandolin, fiddle, Hammond B3 organ, tack piano, and the banjo. There's also plenty of handclaps, horseshoe steps, boot stomps on hardwood floors and yes, those are Beyoncé's nails as percussion.
"The joy of creating music is that there are no rules," says Beyoncé. "The more I see the world evolving the more I felt a deeper connection to purity. With artificial intelligence and digital filters and programming, I wanted to go back to real instruments, and I used very old ones. I didn't want some layers of instruments like strings, especially guitars, and organs perfectly in tune. I kept some songs raw and leaned into folk. All the sounds were so organic and human, everyday things like the wind, snaps and even the sound of birds and chickens, the sounds of nature."

And the inspiration further takes into account Southern and Western culture beyond music, the Rodeo, Western films, and the stories of the original cowboys of the West. It was at the Rodeo where she first saw diversity and camaraderie among people who love Country music and an Americana lifestyle, steeped in community, culinary offerings, grills, and Western gear. And it was for everyone. Among the crowds were Black, Hispanic and Native American Cowboys, who made their valuable, authentic allowances to the culture. Their stories are synonymous with American history.

The music is wrapped around an outpouring of passionate, bold storytelling that captivates the listener with Beyoncé's familiar, powerful voice at the center. Her vocals shine a blinding light on a narrative steeped in truth-telling, revealing hidden histories, and reveling in all the magic you seek when you take an intentional journey back to your roots. Beyoncé is a student of history, and she continues the American music masterclass that started with act i RENAISSANCE in 2022, that was a deep dive into dance music and its creators, and the celebration of those who lived in joy despite being made to feel like outliers.

On COWBOY CARTER the work of an artist who created on her own terms, in the absence of rules, persists boldly. The songs caress, cradle, and encourage the listener's curiosity through 27 gifts of revolutionary surprises, erasing the limitations placed on genre-based music. As a producer, Beyoncé explores and experiments with chord and key changes effortlessly mixing genres, bending, and blending the unexpected to break down every wall of musical confinement. It is a rare body of work that could so seamlessly hosts remakes of classics like "BLACKBIIRD" by The Beatles and "JOLENE" by Dolly Parton with sonically diverse creations like "SWEET HONEY BUCKIN," "RIIVER DANCE" and "II MOST WANTED."

"My process is that I typically have to experiment," Beyoncé says. "I enjoy being open to have the freedom to get all aspects of things I love out and so I worked on many songs. I recorded probably 100 songs. Once that is done, I am able to put the puzzle together and realize the consistencies and the common themes, and then create a solid body of work."

The album is an experiment indeed. Each song is its own version of a reimagined Western film. She took inspiration from films like "Five Fingers For Marseilles," "Urban Cowboy," "The Hateful Eight, "Space Cowboys," "The Harder They Fall" and "Killers of the Flower Moon," often having the films playing on a screen during the recording process. Some aspects of the percussion were inspired by the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack, where it was more Bluegrass. This body of work undulates from singing cowboy and Blaxploitation to Spaghetti westerns and fantasy with Beyoncé weaving between personal experiences, honoring Black history, to exaggerated character building. The limited-edition vinyl depicts a microphone in the shape of a gun ala Thelma and Louise running from the law, but the gun is invisible, hyper exaggerated reality.

The character, Cowboy Carter was birth from these experiences and inspired by the original Black cowboys of the American West. The word cowboy itself was used in a derogatory way to describe the former slaves as "boys," who were the most skilled and had the hardest jobs of handling horses and cattle, alike. In destroying the negative connotation, what remains is the strength and resiliency of these men who were the true definition of Western fortitude.

While RENAISSANCE was a stated rebirth after the Pandemic, COWBOY CARTER is a declarative frequency and academic shift, as the world prepares to shift again, that redefines and rebuilds what is Country and Americana, and who gets to be included. The album opens with "AMERIICAN REQUIEM," a hymn-like alarm that incinerates old ideas about art and the people who create it.

Beyoncé ensconced herself with a stellar group of collaborators, including The-Dream, Pharrell, NO I.D., Raphael Saadiq, Ryan Tedder, Ryan Beatty, Swizz Beatz, Khirye Tyler, Derek Dixie, Ink, Nova Wav, Mamii, Cam, Tyler Johnson, Dave Hamelin, and Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter to find the secret gems in each song. The process, sometimes years in the making, often meant combining pieces of different recordings, changing the instrumentation here, adding a snare there, to land at the perfect spot in the right time.

"This album took over five years," she says. "It's been really great to have the time and the grace to be able to take my time with it. I was initially going to put COWBOY CARTER out first, but with the pandemic, there was too much heaviness in the world. We wanted to dance. We deserved to dance. But I had to trust God's timing."

And the musical alliance here includes contributions from an impressive list of artists as vocalists, musicians, and orators, including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Linda Martell, Stevie Wonder, Chuck Berry, Mylie Cyrus, Post Malone, Jon Batiste, Rhiannon Giddens, Nile Rodgers, Robert Randolph, Gary Clark, Jr., Willie Jones, Brittney Spencer, Shaboozey, Reyna Roberts, Tanner Adell and Tiera Kennedy.

COWBOY CARTER is the musical concoction you did not expect from the world's most innovative artist and producer, who has made it the norm to push the boundaries in delivering art that challenges the senses. It's about culture, legacy, and a critical addition to the American songbook from the most important and creative talent in a Century.
"I think people are going to be surprised because I don't think this music is what everyone expects," Beyoncé says, "but it's the best music I've ever made."
COWBOY CARTER is available now.

COWBOY CARTER TRACK LIST:
AMERIICAN REQUIEM
BLACKBIIRD
16 CARRIAGES
PROTECTOR
MY ROSE
SMOKE HOUR ★ WILLIE NELSON
TEXAS HOLD 'EM
BODYGUARD
DOLLY P
JOLENE
DAUGHTER
SPAGHETTII
ALLIIGATOR TEARS
SMOKE HOUR II
JUST FOR FUN
II MOST WANTED
LEVII'S JEANS
FLAMENCO
The LINDA MARTELL SHOW
YA YA
OH LOUISIANA
DESERT EAGLE
RIIVER DANCE
II HANDS II HEAVEN
TYRANT
SWEET ★ HONEY ★ BUCKIIN'
AMEN
#COWBOYCARTER
#TEXASHOLDEM
#16CARRIAGES
#RODEOCHITLINCIRCUIT
#BEYONCE






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