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“This Ain’t Texas”: A Review of Beyonce’s Latest Album ‘Cowboy Carter’

Updated: Apr 23

By Lindsay Smith

The internet and critics agree that 32-time Grammy winning artist Beyonce has done it again with the release of her latest album titled “Cowboy Carter.”

When the album’s first singles, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” dropped during the Super Bowl, fans immediately noticed a new characteristic to this album: its country music theme. The album topped country music charts shortly after its release, making Beyonce the first Black woman to do so.

While some songs are more overtly country influenced, such as “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “Jolene,” than others, the album cover featuring Beyonce with a cowboy hat riding a horse reminds all listeners that she is not afraid to dip her toes into different musical waters.

The album overall does a beautiful job of storytelling, and it allows Beyonce to show off her songwriting capabilities. It becomes a breath of fresh air for those who have been longtime fans, and it allows listeners to explore everything within her musical repertoire.

            Bellarmine students agree that this album is another great success for the artist.

Sophomore criminal justice major Maggie Gladding said it was “absolutely brilliant” and an “artistic masterpiece deserving of all laud and honor.”

They also have noted the new feel and how it works for Beyonce.

Sophomore mathematics and economics major Lilli Evans called it an “interesting blend between country, pop, and hip hop” and said she admired that it “takes elements of traditional country sounds and blends them in a new age pop direction.”


My Top Songs:

5. Spaghettii:

            Beyonce brings this rap and hip-hop influenced song to her latest album. It feels more upbeat and connected to her previous album and single releases. This song’s introduction, narrated by Linda Martell who was the first black woman to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, becomes the best one on the album.

            “Genres are a funny little concept, aren’t they?” Martell said. “In theory, they have a simple definition that is easy to understand, but in practice, well, some may feel confined.”

            I think this introduction perfectly demonstrates everyone’s response to Beyonce’s new album and why she sought to step out of her traditional box. 

4. Texas Hold ‘Em

            Beyonce herself was quick to point out to fans on Twitter that “This ain’t a Country album. This is a Beyonce album.” And while this may be true in some regards, this song becomes the closest she could get to the country genre. It adds another dancing and chart toping hit to Beyonce’s long list of previous hits, including “Single Ladies” and “Crazy in Love.” It’s the perfect song for a pre-summer mood boost that came at the perfect time of the year.

3. Levii’s Jeans

            When the list of songs was announced, one of the notable collaborations was between Beyonce and 10-time Grammy nominee Post Malone. It features a quality vocal performance from both Beyonce and Malone in a way that provides the perfect dual introduction for both artists into the country music inspired genre. This is the perfect outdoor BBQ song, and it sounds like something you and your parents could actually equally enjoy.

2. 16 Carriages

            “16 Carriages” feels like a calm spring morning where a nice breeze is blowing through your car windows. This song stands out as a perfect view into Beyonce’s songwriting and storytelling capabilities. It explores Beyonce’s upbringing in a way that resonates with any listener, whether this be a long-time fan or a newcomer to her music.

1. Daughters

            Powerful vocals, compelling lyrics, and Beyonce performing opera! What else could one want out of the best song I feel ‘Cowboy Carter’ brought us? This song provides something for everyone, and I feel even those who are not typical Beyonce fans can resonate with the way this song is presented. The song is just asking to be played on loop.


Bellarmine’s Song Reviews:

American Requiem

            Sophomore biochemistry and molecular biology major Joyce Lefevers said, “The title perfectly captures the themes of the album. The death, then rebirth, of America as Beyonce redefines what it means to be a black country artist.”


            Gladding said, “Beautiful doesn’t even begin to cover it. The weaving of storytelling, emotion, and drama is just incredible.”


            Graduate student in digital media and communication Elton Menezes said, “I like the beat of this song, and it gives me a sort of 80s disco pop vibe.”

            Freshman psychology, anthropology, and sociology major Lauren Frazier said, “It immediately got stuck in my head. I love the upbeat tone and the light lyrics.”

Texas Hold ‘Em:

            “Out of context, I didn’t like Texas Hold ‘Em,” Lefevers said, “but listening to it in context with the rest of the album, I like it.”

            Evans said: “The aim seemed to be to capture traditional country and instead missed the story telling element that most country songs possess.”


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