Beyonce sent her die-hard fans into a frenzy with the long-awaited release of her new country album Cowboy Carter on Friday.

While the 27-track record is already being lauded by fans and critics, the hitmaker marked the occasion by posing for a jaw-dropping shoot.

Showing off her incredible figure, Beyonce posed in a slew of rustic looks, including daring denim chaps, a sexy nude dress and a plunging studded shirt.

The star took inspiration from country icon Dolly Parton by sporting her blonde tresses in a large beehive, while perched on a chair in a revealing nude dress.

After Texas Hold’Em hit the airwaves, Beyonce became 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, and also spent four weeks at the top of the UK music charts.

Beyonce celebrated the release of her long-awaited album Cowboy Carter with a slew of sexy snaps on Friday, including one clad in a busty nude dress with a Dolly Parton-esque beehive

Beyonce celebrated the release of her long-awaited album Cowboy Carter with a slew of sexy snaps on Friday, including one clad in a busty nude dress with a Dolly Parton-esque beehive

Beyonce celebrated the release of her long-awaited album Cowboy Carter with a slew of sexy snaps on Friday, including one clad in a busty nude dress with a Dolly Parton-esque beehive 

Showing off her incredible figure, Beyonce posed in a slew of rustic looks, including daring denim chaps

Showing off her incredible figure, Beyonce posed in a slew of rustic looks, including daring denim chaps

Showing off her incredible figure, Beyonce posed in a slew of rustic looks, including daring denim chaps

Speaking about the album, she said: ‘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.’

‘My process is that I typically have to experiment,’ Beyoncé said. ‘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.’

Beyonce went onto reveal that Cowboy Carter took five years to make, and she opted to delay its release in favour of her previous album Renaissance

‘This album took over five years,’ she said. ‘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.’

The star also flaunted her ample cleavage in a plunging open studded shirt, as fans were quick to praise her new album

The star also flaunted her ample cleavage in a plunging open studded shirt, as fans were quick to praise her new album

The star also flaunted her ample cleavage in a plunging open studded shirt, as fans were quick to praise her new album

Beyonce ‘Cowboy Carter’ tracklist

 

1. Ameriican Requiem

2. Blackbiird (feat. Tanner Ardell)

3. 16 Carriages

4. Protector

5. My Rose

6. Smoke Hour (Willie Nelson intro)

7. Texas Hold ‘Em

8. Bodyguard

9. Dolly P.” (Dolly Patron intro)

10. Jolene

11. Daughter

12. Spaghetti (feat. Shaboozey)

13. Alligator Tears

14. Smoke Hour II

15. Just For Fun 

 

16. II Most Wanted (feat. Miley Cyrus)

17. Levii’s jeans (feat. Post Malone)

18. Flamenco 

19. The Linda Martell Show (intro by Linda Martell)

20. YaYa (feat. Willie Jones)

21. Oh Louisiana

22. Desert Eagle

23. Riverdance

24. II Hands II Heaven

25. Tyrant (feat. Dolly Parton)

26. Sweet Honey Buckin’

27. Amen

 

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After posing for a slew of snaps to celebrate the release of her album, Beyonce revealed that the long-awaited record took five years to make

After posing for a slew of snaps to celebrate the release of her album, Beyonce revealed that the long-awaited record took five years to make

After posing for a slew of snaps to celebrate the release of her album, Beyonce revealed that the long-awaited record took five years to make

She said: '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'

She said: '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'

She said: ‘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’

'This album took over five years,' she said. 'It's been really great to have the time and the grace to be able to take my time with it

'This album took over five years,' she said. 'It's been really great to have the time and the grace to be able to take my time with it

‘This album took over five years,’ she said. ‘It’s been really great to have the time and the grace to be able to take my time with it

What the critics think

Writing for Page Six, Nicholas Hautman’s opening line of to his review is, ‘Country music is on life support.’

He adds that Cowboy Carter is, ‘the revival that country music so desperately needed,’ calling the 27-track album, ‘instantly timeless.’

The review adds Cowboy Carter is a, ‘soulful celebration of Southern values and the genre’s African American roots,’ adding that the singer has stated she recorded the album after feeling ‘unwelcome’ while presenting at the 2016 CMA Awards.

Referencing Beyonce’s cover of the 1973 Dolly Parton classic Jolene, he adds that Bey, ‘pours gasoline on its already fiery lyrics, with menacing changes including, ‘I can easily understand why you’re attracted to my man/ But you don’t want this smoke, so shoot your shot for someone else.’

The review also highlights her cover of Blackbird, The Beatles’ 1968 classic that Paul McCartney wrote about racial tension in the American South.

‘Her tearjerking rendition is a career highlight, an impressive feat for a superstar whose back catalog is chock-full of unforgettable moments.’

The Guardian‘s Alexis Petridis also praised American Requiem, adding it’s more of a, ‘state-of-the-nation address’

He also spoke of Jolene – mentioning that Parton herself has long lobbied for Bey to record her own version – commenting on the new lyrics.

He states this Jolene boasts, ‘a new middle eight and coda alongside fresh lyrics that substitute swaggering menace and threats for the original’s desperate pleading.’

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Robert Moran adds that Cowboy Carter, ‘functions much like 2022’s Renaissance, Beyonce’s reclamation of dance music’s Black roots.’

He also praises Daughter as, ‘an evocative murder ballad that straddles flamenco and fado,’ and Spaghetti, ‘a drill-meets-Sergio Leone cut where Beyonce furiously chants ‘I ain’t in no gang, but I got shooters and I bang bang!”

Moran adds that he, ‘can’t wait to hear how country radio or the Grammys handle Sweet Honey Buckin, an epic track that opens with Beyonce reverently covering Patsy Cline’s I Fall To Pieces and ends with her chanting ‘Buck it, like a mechanical bull!’ over a stomping Jersey Club beat.’

BBC’s Mark Savage wrote: ‘This isn’t a country album. It’s a Beyonce album.

‘Over 27 interlocking songs and interludes, Cowboy Carter throws a lasso around country’s sonic signifiers, and spins them into something unique: Appalachian fiddles are spliced with pop melodies, and lap steel guitars underscore rap verses with speaker-crushing sub bass.

‘That the genres overlap so seamlessly is evidence of Beyoncé’s technical mastery, but also of her central thesis: That Nashville’s marginalisation of outsiders, and black women in particular, weakens the music in the long run.’ 

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‘I think people are going to be surprised because I don’t think this music is what everyone expects, but it’s the best music I’ve ever made.’

Fans quickly flooded social media with reactions to the record. Many already claimed the record was the ‘album of the year’ minutes after it was released. Others dubbed her ‘cowgirl Beyonce.’

Many of Beyonce’s listeners loved the numerous collaborations on the record, including the one with Miley (born Destiny Hope Cyrus), with one joking ‘Destiny Hope and Destiny Child on the same song is history’ in reference to Beyonce’s former girl group Destiny’s Child.

‘The way I’m loving these collabs. Beyonce got Post Malone into a country song. We won so hard.’

Dolly’s contribution to the record was brought up in many comments, and Beyonce’s take on Jolene earned her much praise.

‘Damn now Jolene got 2 divas looking for her; We are seeing history being written.’ 

‘Queen Beyonce has arrived; Dolly!!! And Beee!

Her album has also earned rave reviews from critics, with some even declaring that Beyonce could revive the country genre.

That review comes from Page Six critic Nicholas Hautman, whose opening line of the review is, ‘Country music is on life support.’

He adds that Cowboy Carter is, ‘the revival that country music so desperately needed,’ calling the 27-track album, ‘instantly timeless.’

The review adds Cowboy Carter is a, ‘soulful celebration of Southern values and the genre’s African American roots,’ adding that the singer has stated she recorded the album after feeling ‘unwelcome’ while presenting at the 2016 CMA Awards.

One of the most anticipated tracks is Bey’s cover of Dolly Parton’s 1973 classic Jolene, which includes Parton herself bashing the now-infamous ‘Becky with the good hair’ before the track.

He adds that Bey, ‘pours gasoline on its already fiery lyrics, with menacing changes including, ‘I can easily understand why you’re attracted to my man/ But you don’t want this smoke, so shoot your shot for someone else.’

The review also highlights her cover of Blackbird, The Beatles’ 1968 classic that Paul McCartney wrote about racial tension in the American South.

‘Her tearjerking rendition is a career highlight, an impressive feat for a superstar whose back catalog is chock-full of unforgettable moments,’ he adds. 

The Times‘ Will Hodgkinson admitted that the album is ‘too long,’ but, ‘has a refreshing sense of fun and adventure.’

‘When news came that Beyoncé was releasing a country album it raised all kinds of debate over the genre’s African-American roots, and her co-opting of patriotic American imagery on the cover. And she seems to have guessed it would when she came up with the songs in the first place,’ he added.

”There’s a lot of talking going on while I sing my song,’ she sings on American Requiem, an epic that falls somewhere between country lament, psychedelic ballad and modern pop. ”Can we stand for something?” she asks,’ he says.

Hodgkinson admits the album is, ‘stylistically all over the place,’ but adds that it also, ‘broadens Beyonce’s reach.’

The Guardian‘s Alexis Petridis also praised American Requiem, adding it’s more of a, ‘state-of-the-nation address’

He also spoke of Jolene – mentioning that Parton herself has long lobbied for Bey to record her own version – commenting on the new lyrics.

He states this Jolene boasts, ‘a new middle eight and coda alongside fresh lyrics that substitute swaggering menace and threats for the original’s desperate pleading.’

Petridis admits that songs like Daughter (‘a murder ballad-esque storytelling’) and 16 Carriages (‘recasting her early years in Destiny’s Child in Nashville-friendly terms’) can be ‘laying it on a bit thick,’ though he admits they’re both ‘great songs.’

Since the second half of the album, ‘goes nuts,’ he wonders if Bey might have been better off splitting this into two albums,’ though, ‘Cowboy Carter still proves Beyoncé is impressively capable of doing whatever she wants.’

'I was initially going to put COWBOY CARTER out first, but with the pandemic, there was too much heaviness in the world,' Beyonce added

'I was initially going to put COWBOY CARTER out first, but with the pandemic, there was too much heaviness in the world,' Beyonce added

‘I was initially going to put COWBOY CARTER out first, but with the pandemic, there was too much heaviness in the world,’ Beyonce added

Her album has also earned rave reviews from critics, with some even declaring that Beyonce could revive the country genre

Her album has also earned rave reviews from critics, with some even declaring that Beyonce could revive the country genre

Her album has also earned rave reviews from critics, with some even declaring that Beyonce could revive the country genre

Fans quickly flooded social media with reactions to the record with many already claiming the record was the 'album of the year' minutes after it was released

Fans quickly flooded social media with reactions to the record with many already claiming the record was the 'album of the year' minutes after it was released

Fans quickly flooded social media with reactions to the record with many already claiming the record was the ‘album of the year’ minutes after it was released

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Robert Moran adds that Cowboy Carter, ‘functions much like 2022’s Renaissance, Beyonce’s reclamation of dance music’s Black roots,’ adding that Cowboy Carter is the second album in her Renaissance trilogy.

He also praises Daughter as, ‘an evocative murder ballad that straddles flamenco and fado,’ and Spaghetti, ‘a drill-meets-Sergio Leone cut where Beyonce furiously chants ‘I ain’t in no gang, but I got shooters and I bang bang!”

Moran adds that he, ‘can’t wait to hear how country radio or the Grammys handle Sweet Honey Buckin, an epic track that opens with Beyonce reverently covering Patsy Cline’s I Fall To Pieces and ends with her chanting ‘Buck it, like a mechanical bull!’ over a stomping Jersey Club beat.’

BBC’s Mark Savage also echoed Beyonce’s statement that, ‘This isn’t a country album. It’s a Beyonce album,’ while demonstrating how she turns the genre on its ear.

‘Over 27 interlocking songs and interludes, Cowboy Carter throws a lasso around country’s sonic signifiers, and spins them into something unique: Appalachian fiddles are spliced with pop melodies, and lap steel guitars underscore rap verses with speaker-crushing sub bass,’ Savage says.

He adds, ‘That the genres overlap so seamlessly is evidence of Beyoncé’s technical mastery, but also of her central thesis: That Nashville’s marginalisation of outsiders, and black women in particular, weakens the music in the long run.’ 

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