The fact that Spotify no longer uses the original 4 artwork reminded me of a beer-inspired conversation I had with someone a few weeks ago (was it one of you?) during which I said something along the lines of, “But like honestly I think 4 would have been more successful had they gone with the deluxe album art in the purple dress instead of the one with the weird fur.”
This New York Times review from 2003 unfavorably comparing Beyonce to Ashanti is the greatest thing I’ve ever read.
LOL ASHANTI ASIDE (never forget "The Woman You Love"), I agree with the final line of this review: “[Dangerously In Love’s] vision of romance is profoundly unconvincing.”
I love Beyonce as much as the next guy, but I’ve never believed her. And I guess that’s something they hadn’t realized back in 2003 - the artificiality is part of the deal. Part of why we’re so fascinated by her.