Both of Beyoncé’s Personalities Make a Subpar Album

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Jonathan Horowitz's Obama '08 (2008). Photo: Peter Serling

Beyoncé, I Am… Sasha Fierce

Official Release Date: November 12

The Verdict: When first we heard that Beyoncé's new album — which leaked last night — would be a double album half-credited to her "more outrageous stage persona," Sasha Fierce, we were worried. Sadly, our fears were not unfounded. The more-subdued first disc, for which B.'s less outrageous side was responsible, really isn't bad (we like "Disappear" and "Halo," especially), but who listens to Beyoncé for the ballads? NOBODY. Sasha's stinker-filled half is the problem; in lieu of a "Déjà Vu" or an "Irreplaceable," we get farty synthesizers, some ill-advised rapping (on "Diva," we think she's actually trying to sound like Lil Wayne), and not one memorable chorus. If you didn't love "Single Ladies" (we didn't), there's probably nothing here to get too excited about.