I Am...Sasha Fierce

If her album title seems like the moniker for a transgendered entertainer, it wouldn't be the only thing that's gay about Beyonce's third (rushed) solo project. From the hippy, J-Stepping choreography on "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" video to the frantic "I'm a Diva" refrain on "Diva," Miss B. channels her inner queen, squarely following in Madonna's culturally appropriating stilettos. Whether it's a melodramatic catwalk strut, voguing moves ("Duckwalk, children!") or liberal use of gay slang, Beyonce has always winked at the "kids" whose aesthetics she generously borrows from to achieve iconic status as a pop innovator. It's a shame that the pilfered fierceness is about the only innovative thing on this regressive R&-"cough"-B album of synth pop, nursery rhyme house and cloying ballads worthy of any Disney act. Why, at almost 30, is her music now 16? And I'm a fan. 2 stars


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