As audience members, we understand that when a singer goes onstage they’re undoubtedly nervous, shaky and may have some sort of ritual they have to perform backstage before they can sing. But sometimes, these preservation rituals can go overboard.
According to fan reactions and music reviews, critically acclaimed siren Beyonce may have overdone it with her latest album. “I Am . . . Sasha Fierce” was a two disc compilation released in the U.S. on November 18th and a tribute to Beyonce’s “alter-ego,” Sasha Fierce.
“I have someone else that takes over when it’s time for me to work and when I’m on stage, this alter ego that I’ve created that kind of protects me and who I really am,” said the singer in a Reuters interview.
She describes Fierce as “the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and more glamorous side that comes out when I’m working and when I’m on the stage.”
I heard the first single “If I Were a Boy” and loved it. It felt powerful, raw and carried a stinging message. The companion single “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” was good. Catchy, but not terribly memorable. The way “I Am . . . Sasha Fierce” is laid out is that the first disc, chock full of ballads, is Beyonce herself. The second disc, full of vibrating dance beats, is all Sasha Fierce.
Today, Beyonce released the music video for “Diva.” So far, it has produced extremely mixed reactions. Filmed in black and white, the song begins with eerie high-pitched, halting voices repeating “I’m a diva” until Beyonce begins the song, which is disappointing to say the least.
A diva is no longer a woman of distinguished talent, but a female version of a hustler. So says Beyonce in her halting attempt at rap. Bouncing and pulsating around the set, she looks and sounds as though she’s attempting to be husband Jay-Z rather than her normally high-powered self.
According to Beyonce, Sasha Fierce is an exaggeration of herself. If the music videos are to be believed, Sasha Fierce favors black leotards and wife-beaters. Let’s not forget the elusive roboglove.
In November, Beyonce appeared on the MTV Europe red carpet modeling an abrasive metal glove on her left hand. The glove made appearances many times later when Sasha Fierce was involved, notably on Saturday Night Live and in her music video for “Single Ladies.”
I understand the need to differentiate from yourself when you enter the stage. I have played piano for years and could handle a crowd of maybe 30. I’d never be able to feasibly handle performing in front of thousands.
But ever since Beyonce burst onto the scene with Destiny’s Child, she and her powerhouse voice stood out. She went solo after the group’s disintegration and made a name for herself. Whether or not Beyonce has always been another person onstage is irrelevant. She is not just a ballad singer. She is Beyonce. Maybe it’s time she got back to her.
You can view the “Diva” video here.
Dean Goodman, Beyonce Would Like to Be Known as Sasha Fierce, Reuters
Korin Miller, Robo-Beyonce? Knowles Models Metal Glove at MTV Europe Music Awards, New York Daily News.com
“Diva” Music Video