Beyoncé’s “I Am…Sasha Fierce”

standard edition cover

Released: November 18, 2008 (United States)

Genre: Pop ・R&B

Label: Columbia ・Music World

Producer: Bama Boyz Bangladesh D-Town Darkchild Ian Dench Blac Elvis Toby Gad Sean Garrett Amanda Ghost Andrew Hey Jim Jonsin Beyoncé Knowles Harold Lilly Dave McCracken Rico Love Ramon “REO” Owen Stargate Tricky Stewart Ryan Tedder The-Dream Wayne Wilkins

One thing I’ll always say about Beyoncé, is that she so damn legendary. We practically grew up with her over the years from the iconic Destiny’s Child days to her career as a solo artist..and with her first two solo studio albums being a huge success, Beyoncé’s reign wasn’t stopping any time soon.

Beyoncé’s third studio album I Am… Sasha Fierce was released on November 18, 2008. I love the concept of IASF. Beyoncé described the record as a double album. The standard, deluxe and platinum versions of the album each had different covers like a magazine giving us two versions of a cover.

One side has songs that are more mainstream and another has my more traditional R&B songs for my fans who’ve been there the whole time.

Beyoncé Knowles, 2008

& you definitely get that vibe throughout the album. I was 16 years old when this album dropped, and it was my very first album that I’ve ever purchased with my own money. I always credit this album for allowing me to express myself and guide me towards coming out to my family.

But anyways back to the concept of the album. For the I Am… side of the album, we get folk, soft & alternative rock influences. For the Sasha Fierce side of the album, we get more of the Beyoncé we’ve known and loved. Sasha Fierce was Bey’s alter ego that was born during the making of her hit single Crazy In Love .

Ego so big, you must admit: I got every reason to feel like I’m that bitch.

Beyoncé Knowles, 2008

I Am…Sasha Fierce debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 482,000 copies in its first week & gave Beyoncé her third consecutive number-one album in the US (a feat she holds to this day with her now six studio albums). The album has been certified 2x platinum by the RIAA, and has sold over eight million copies worldwide. Legendary.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to Beyoncé’s I Am…Sasha Fierce

Disc one: I Am…

If I Were a Boy


Written by Toby Gad ・BC Jean

The album begins with the remarkable ballad If I Were a Boy. With soft/folk rock and R&B influences, If I Were a Boy is a song that challenges gender norms. The song speaks to the vulnerability of a woman and how things would be if men had the mindset and empathy of a woman.

While I’m a man, I felt this song on a whole different level because I date and are romantically interested in men, and they even implement those norms and misogynistic views into same sex relationships..and it is so TIRED. The song was released as the lead single from the I Am… disc & peaked in the top 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Halo


Written by Ryan Tedder ・E. Kidd Bogart ・Beyoncé Knowles

Halo is a magnificent masterpiece, and truly one of Beyoncé’s most vocally demanding works. The power ballad speaks of a beautiful love, and is one of the highlights of the album overall. The song sparked some controversy due to the fact that the song was strikingly similar to Kelly Clarkson’s Already Gone, which was also written by Ryan Tedder. The rumors were that he used the same tune for both songs.

Halo also won the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2010 ceremony.

Disappear


Written by Amanda Ghost ・Hugo Chakrabongse ・Dave McCracken ・Ian Dench ・Beyoncé Knowles

Disappear is absolutely one of my favorite songs off of the album as a whole. From a lyrical perspective, the song speaks about how we lose the one we truly love when it is too late. The singer goes into how the perspective lover was ready for love and she wasn’t. Now he’s fading away and she cannot reach him now that she is finally ready to love him. Something I know all too well.

Broken-Hearted Girl


Written by Kenneth Edmonds ・Mikkel Eriksen ・Tor Erik Hermansen ・Beyoncé Knowles

If you know me, you know I love a Babyface penned record! Broken-Hearted Girl is a R&B ballad that speaks to a woman’s perspective about the negative aspects of love. The singer sings about heartache and despite the pain her lover brings, she doesn’t want to live without him. Broken-Hearted Girl was a hit single in the UK, peaking at number 12 and 27 on the R&B & pop charts respectively.

Ave Maria


Written by Beyoncé Knowles ・Amanda Ghost ・Ian Dench ・Makeba Riddick ・Mikkel Storieer Eriksen ・Tor Erik Hermansen

A rewrite of the Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria, Beyoncé’s version is one of her best songs vocally. It was very evident that this song was in regards to her husband, Jay Z, whom she married earlier that year of this album’s release. Lyrics like “I found heaven on earth. You are my last, my first” shows how much he means to her in a nutshell.

Satellites


Written by Amanda Ghost ・Dave McCracken ・Ian Dench ・Beyoncé Knowles

The I Am disc closes with the extremely underrated Satellites. Lyrically, Satellites is about communication in a relationship being the key or they will separate if they don’t fix the space between them.

Disc two: Sasha Fierce

Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)


Written by Christopher Stewart ・Terius Nash ・Kuk Harrell ・Beyoncé Knowles

The Sasha Fierce side begins with the mesmerizing Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It,) which was one of the best songs of the 2000s decade. With influences of dancehall, disco, bounce, dance-pop & R&B, Single Ladies contained themes of female empowerment..being compared to the feminist anthems Respect by Aretha Franklin & I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.

& the video took the song to newer heights with the amazing choreography. Single Ladies peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving Beyoncé her fifth solo number one single. The song was also certified 4x platinum by the RIAA. At the 2010 Grammys, the song won numerous Grammys for Song of the Year, Best R&B Song & Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

Radio


Written by Beyoncé Knowles ・James Scheffer ・Anton Bakholdin ・Richard Butler Jr.

Radio is the closest we’re going to get from a new wave/synth-pop song we’re going to get from Beyoncé! An ode to her appreciation for music and the radio, this song is truly something you never really hear from Bey, so when this album dropped..it was truly refreshing to hear a different sound from the icon.

Diva


Written by Beyoncé Knowles ・Shondrae Crawford ・Sean Garrett

Every radio ’round the world know me ’cause that’s where I be!

Beyoncé Knowles, 2008

Diva IS THE TYPE OF CARRYING ON I LOVE TO SEE FROM THE QUEEN! This is Beyoncé at her most confident and boldest, and I loved it since the very first listen. The R&B & hip-hop influenced song is another record that conveys messages of independence and female empowerment. The song peaked in the top 3 of the R&B charts and the top twenty of the pop charts.

Sweet Dreams


Written by Beyoncé Knowles ・James Scheffer ・Wayne Wilkins・ Richard Butler Jr

Sweet Dreams is another record that toys with synth-pop and electro pop. From a lyrical perspective, the song speaks about a relationship that appears to be too good be true. & I think that’s how we feel when we finally experience a healthy relationship. The song gave Beyoncé another top ten record on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Video Phone


Written by Beyoncé Knowles ・Shondrae Crawford ・Sean Garrett

Video Phone is a very sexy record that has been labeled as “crunk&B” that is lyrically about putting on a show for your man on your video phone. The song was a hit record the Dance charts, peaking at number one. The remix version featured Lady Gaga, which saw the two later collaborating on Gaga’s 2010 hit record Telephone.

Out of Beyoncé’s six albums, I Am… Sasha Fierce is completely underrated. The deluxe and platinum editions of this album gave Beyoncé more hit records like Ego, Why Don’t You Love Me and many more gems like Smash into You, Hello, Poison & Scared of Lonely.

Beyoncé’s truly one of the greatest musicians to have ever lived, and this album showcased how her artistry grew with every single era. During the time of making this album, Beyoncé was marrying Jay Z and portraying jazz legend Etta James in the Cadillac Records biopic. You see those elements of love throughout the album, and the influence Etta had on her vocally and musically throughout this album. A true gem in Beyoncé’s discography. Appreciate it. -MW.

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