Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Every Beyoncé album ranked


Beyoncé reigns as one of the most respected artists in the music industry after nearly 30 years of performing, cultivating some of the era’s biggest hits, from sultry R&B to house and disco. As she brings her world tour to Texas, The Daily Texan ranked Queen Bey’s discography. 

  1. I am… Sasha Fierce (2008)

For Beyoncé’s third album, she featured her alter ego, the project’s namesake. Divided into two sections, the first half features ballads including single “Halo,” while the second half includes some of Beyoncé’s signature dance hits such as “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and “Diva.” The album proved incredibly successful internationally and grew Beyoncé’s overseas audience.

  1. Dangerously in Love (2003)

After incredible success as a member of Destiny’s Child, many anticipated Beyoncé’s first solo project. Initially slated for a fall 2002 release, producers delayed the album after bandmate Kelly Rowland’s successful feature on Nelly’s “Dilemma” spent 10 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. During this time, Beyoncé cultivated her sound and produced the instantly sensational “Crazy In Love” with then-boyfriend Jay-Z. 

  1. B’Day (2006)

Many artists fear failing to replicate their debut album’s success, especially one as successful as Dangerously in Love. B’Day proves a testament to a more dance and club-oriented sound with tracks like “Beautiful Liar,” “Upgrade U” and “Deja Vu.” The album continued her success and featured the hit single “Irreplaceable,” which became the biggest song in America in 2007.

  1. 4 (2011)

By the early 2010s, the music industry witnessed a trend of electronic and EDM music, to which many artists succumbed. On the contrary, Beyoncé cultivated an album of R&B and soul-inspired tracks. Some of the tracks remain fan favorites, including “Dance for You,” “Run the World (Girls)” and “Love On Top.” 

  1. Beyoncé (2013)

If not for Beyoncé’s relentless dedication to perfecting her craft, her 2013 self-titled album could have served as an incredible moment to hang up her hat. She popularized the surprise release method of music promotion, which artists like Taylor Swift, Drake and Frank Ocean have since replicated. Aside from marking a shift from family-friendly pop music to a sexier, more adult sound, her self-titled album revived her career after an underwhelming audience reception to 4. 

  1. Renaissance (2022)

Six years after releasing the career-defining Lemonade, questions arose as to whether Beyoncé had retired or not. Eventually, she released her seventh studio album Renaissance with minimal promotion and unleashed a vivacious and genre-bending tribute to the Black Queer disco and house scene of the late 1970s. Samples and references on the album showcase Beyoncé’s efforts to bring the legacy of these artists back to life. Despite standing as her most experimental album, it still earned endless praise.

  1. Lemonade (2016)

After staying silent amidst cheating rumors against her husband, Jay-Z, Beyoncé dropped the moving Lemonade in April 2016, which many consider to be one of the decade’s best releases. Beyoncé displays incredible vulnerability through 11 chapters representing anger, forgiveness and reconciliation over her husband’s infidelity. The album cycles through several genres including country (“Daddy Lessons”) and rock (“Don’t Hurt Yourself”) — uncharted territory for the singer. The album marked a shift in her career from a pop icon to the undeniable “Queen Bey.” 

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