Beyoncé, why call the album country?

Maybe it is a new sub-genre of country, which decades from now will be recognised as such. I still think Beyoncé is so damned lucky.

I am a big music fan but country music does not feature a great deal in my personal repertoire.

In fact, it is zilch, if we discount the popular Dolly Parton or Kenny Rodgers – when played by someone else or are on the radio.

And Beyoncé? Despite her incontestable appeal (to a much younger audience) is not an inch near my playlist.

ALSO READ: ‘Cowboy Carter’: Beyoncé’s country album tops Billboard chart [Video]

However, recently, I found myself listening to her latest offering.

A country music album by Beyoncé? Who would have thought? I’m afraid I had to listen.

Although we all know how Whitney Houston (one of my top 10 power vocalists) did magic to Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You, I could not have guessed Beyoncé would do a cover of the country music legend.

And she did and I listened. I was prompted by screaming headlines such as “Beyoncé’s hands are firmly on the reins of ‘Cowboy Carter’”; “Beyoncé gives Dolly Parton’s Jolene a savage – and classic – twist…”

First, I listened to the track Jolene, and hoped for the best. If I don’t like it I would not bother listening to the rest of the album, titled Country Carter.

Well, if I didn’t know the Dolly Parton classic, I wouldn’t have recognised the song as country music. While the tempo is a bit higher than the original and what gives country music its character, it is not a bad rendition.

So I listened to the whole album. Parton will surely be smiling all the way to the bank but I doubt she will be half as impressed as she was by Whitney’s take on her song for the movie The Bodyguard.

Parton said she was driving when she first heard it, and “I had to pull over to the side, because I honestly thought I’d get in a wreck. It was the most overwhelming feeling”.

ALSO READ: Beyoncé becomes first Black woman to helm top country songs chart

Whitney did justice to the piece. So much so that I think it surpasses the original.

Beyoncé’s 27-track album, which runs for 80 minutes, is experimental. It has the country-style guitar and banjo riffs and that click clock mimicking a horse gallop, but I would not call it country in the strict sense.

Beyoncé keeps the elements of rap/hip-hop, R&B and pop, which I guess will not go down well with country aficionados.

Maybe it is a new sub-genre of country, which decades from now will be recognised as such. I still think Beyoncé is so damned lucky.

There are scores of singers who sing far better than her but not doing nearly as well as her in the sales and appeal.

If you love Beyoncé, though, you will love this album. But why call it country music?

Read more on these topics

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter music