Beyoncé topped the worldwide charts with her latest album 4, but she didn’t have No. 1 in mind when she recorded it. The pop powerhouse reveals that she was aiming to appease her critics with her latest effort.
While most artists may denounce their critics or not read reviews at all, the singer paid close attention to what reviewers were saying. “I really wanted to make a great body of work and a great classic album, and I focused more on the music from beginning to end,” she told “Access Hollywood.”
“I really wanted to get the critical acclaim. I feel like the longer I do this—I’ve been doing it for 15 years now—No. 1s are amazing, but to see some of the comments that the Rolling Stones and The New York Times and all of these credible, amazing, really critical magazines and papers [are saying] has really made me my proudest.”
The album has yet to produce any massive hits like in the past, but that was never her goal. “Just getting the respect from my peers and reading the really tough, tough critics, them acknowledging my growth and my bravery ’cause that was really what I wanted to do is go against the grain and try to put chords and bridges and lyrics and music back on the radio.”
While she has won Grammys for all three of her previous solo albums, she only considers her debut Dangerously in Love to be a classic. “I think my first album was a classic album. The other two were great, but I didn’t focus on that,” she candidly stated. “I focused more on singles and this time I said, ‘Let me take it back to when people just listened from beginning to end.'”