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Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ has left the stable


Blair Caldwell; Parkwood/Columbia

Beyoncé’s eighth studio album, Cowboy Carter, is available worldwide now. 

The superstar already had a smash on her hands with “Texas Hold ‘Em,” which made Beyoncé the first Black female artist to reach #1 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs and Hot 100 charts with a country song.

The lead track, released along with “16 Carriages” on Sunday, February 11, also spent four weeks at the top of the U.K. music charts.

In a statement, Bey said of Cowboy Carter, “The joy of creating music is that there are no rules. 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.”

The release, which blends the genres of country, blues, zydeco, and Black folk among others, also drew inspiration from films like Quentin Tarantino‘s Hateful Eight, The Coen Brothers‘ O Brother, Where Art Thou? and more. 

Queen Bey said, “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.”

She continued, “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.”

Beyoncé revealed the album was five years in the making, and follows Renaissance. “I was initially going to put Cowboy Carter out first,” she explains, “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.” 

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

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