Beyoncé explores country music genre in ‘Cowboy Carter’

Beyoncés newest project, Cowboy Carter, follows her previous album, Renaissance, in a surprising but brilliant way.
Beyoncé’s newest project, “Cowboy Carter,” follows her previous album, “Renaissance,” in a surprising but brilliant way.
Chloe Choi

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, known simply as Beyoncé, is a true icon in the music industry. Her journey from being the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny’s Child to becoming a solo artist has been nothing short of remarkable. Her powerful vocals, captivating music videos and diverse musical range have set her apart from her peers. 

Beyoncé  made history in 2023 by becoming the artist with the most Grammy wins ever at 32 total Grammy wins and 88 nominations. She has ventured through multiple genres, and her talent, influence and cultural significance have cemented her relevance in pop culture. On March 29, Beyoncé released “Cowboy Carter,” the second act in her trilogy (following the “Renaissance” album). Although many have referred to “Cowboy Carter” as her first country album, she delves beyond just the country genre, mixing various genres and influences to show her unique portrait of America, Texas history and the country style.

Even for those who may not listen to her music often, there’s no denying the immense talent that Beyoncé possesses. Throughout her music career, she has embedded powerful messages hidden within her lyrics in songs such as “BLACK PARADE,” “Run the World (Girls)” and many others. Unlike “Renaissance,” Beyoncé utilizes interludes to split “Cowboy Carter” into different sections, even though it is a relatively long album. She features several prominent figures in country music, including Willie Nelson, Linda Martell and Dolly Parton.

Beyoncé strategically features Willie Nelson in an interlude, introducing one of her central singles, “TEXAS HOLD EM.” The single dropped after her Superbowl Ad, along with “16 CARRIAGES.” These two tracks are the most traditional country songs within this album. The track “16 CARRIAGES” takes the classic structure of a country album and tells the story of losing innocence and staying resilient. At the same time, “TEXAS HOLD EM” pays tribute to Beyoncé’s southern roots, featuring a banjo in the background.  

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Beyoncé’s thoughtful additions throughout the album demonstrate how seamlessly she can shift genres. The track “BLACKBIIRD” features several rising Black country artists, such as Tanner Adell, Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy and Reyna Roberts. These rising artists’ voices blend nicely to create a comforting rhythm backed by calm instrumentals. 

Beyoncé also references Dolly Parton throughout this album, from covering Parton’s hit song, “Jolene,” to featuring Parton on one of the songs. Beyoncé’s cover of “JOLENE” was incredibly well done, and the different lyrics share a story that still pays homage to the original version. The song that Dolly Parton is featured in, “TYRANT,” highlights how Beyoncé can adapt to different genres and artists’ styles to create a beautiful song about emotions and relationships.

Beyoncé’s album is a testament to her ability to collaborate with a diverse range of artists. Miley Cyrus showcases her vocal prowess in “II MOST WANTED,” while Post Malone’s unexpected feature on “LEVII’S JEANS” adds a unique touch. Beyoncé’s voice transitions seamlessly from the country influence to the R&B and pop music she’s known for, demonstrating her adaptability. 

Beyoncé shows great versatility throughout all the songs, but “DAUGHTER” shows the most range. Her powerful vocals and instrumental background create an intriguing story that immerses the listener, especially when she sings part of an Italian opera song called “Caro Mio Bien.” 

One of my favorite parts of the album is how it all comes together to create a cohesive story and message about herself and the history of America through country music and her eyes. She wraps this album up beautifully with the album’s final track, “AMEN.” The track shares her journey as a Black artist and continues the cycle of her trilogy. Strategically, “AMEN” masterfully fades into the beginning of the first track, “AMERIICAN REQUIEM.”

“Cowboy Carter” is a masterpiece, reminding everyone that Beyoncé is an incredibly talented artist who continues challenging herself and the entire music industry. One can only listen to the album, eagerly awaiting the release of her third and final album of this trilogy. 


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