With A Double-Album, A World Tour, Starring Roles In Two Movies And Several Ad Campaigns In the Works, The Heat Is On For Beyoncé. “I think we’ll sell 750,000 to 1 million copies [in the] first week,” says Music World head Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé’s father and manager. “I know that’s ambitious with the declining market, but Beyoncé is so focused on transitioning from pop star to icon that we’re paying attention to every single detail.”It’s a weighty word, icon—but Beyoncé is laying the groundwork to expand beyond being a commonplace superstar. Standard and deluxe versions of the album will reach stores Nov. 18. The standard disc has 11 songs and the deluxe edition includes five additional songs along with the videos for the set’s first two singles, the guitar-led “If I Were a Boy” and the bouncy “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”
“I want to be an icon,” Beyoncé says. “That’s why this is a double-album. One side has songs that are more mainstream and another has my more traditional R&B songs for my fans who’ve been there the whole time. Some of it sounds like Barbra Streisand, Karen Carpenter and The Beatles around the 1970s.” The singer worked with everyone from The Neptunes to Danjahandz and after recording around 75 tracks, she chose 16. In the end, the two CDs, “I Am . . . “ and “Sasha Fierce,“ couldn’t be more different. The “I Am . . . ” tracks collectively sound airy and primed for top 40 radio. The songs—like “Halo,” which is likely the second single from “I Am . . . “—cover relatable themes like finding strength in one’s significant other. Such songwriters as Toby Gad, Amanda Ghost and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds deliver solid, well-written mainstream tracks.