Beyoncé - act ii COWBOY CARTER

I am aware that I've been Pepe Silvia'ing all over the place in this thread about how each act may or may not be connected, but tell me why I am suddenly clocking the inherent pun in "i's on i when i perform" in Alien Superstar and the "ride it like a rodeo" line in Pure/Honey...

Man! I Feel Like A Swiftie
I always thought Beyoncé and Miley were two of the best singers in the pop world, just really special and unique vocalists.

Never ever did I think I’d see the day or even imagine there’s be a time where they’d have a song together and it made me emotional listening to it.
American Requiem, Ya Ya (!!!!!), Bodyguard, Alligator Tears, II Most Wanted, Riverdance, Sweet Honey Buckin are all highlights on my first two listens. But it feels like one long highlight, honestly. And, given how sprawling and varied it is sonically, it's remarkable how cohesive and meticulous it all feels. It has been said many times at this point, but she's operating on a completely different playing field than anyone else. Her artistry is so singular. The way she has been consistently executing her visions so perfectly album after album for the last decade or so is just mind-blowing. None of her peers are even coming close. I feel like I need to (and will) listen 10 more times with 5 tabs open on my laptop to get every reference, homage, and interpolation. It's such a gorgeous melding of honoring what came before her in the genre and also her blazing a completely new path forward for black country artists.

I love Just for Fun, Flemenco, and II Hands II Heaven too. Her vocal delivery is so gorgeous on the more stripped back songs, and her songwriting and melodies really get a chance to shine.

I need an extra moment specifically for Ya Ya, one of the rare songs that feels so obviously special as soon as you hit play. I've done two full two plays of the album, but I've listened to Ya Ya no less than 10 times. She's having so much fun on it - the way she's playing with her vocal delivery, the interpolations, the melodies... it's a 100/10. I adore the more psychedelic soundscape it transitions the album into. As others have pointed out, it's brilliant how the album begins as what the people who shunned her at the CMAs would expect a Beyoncé country album "should" sound like... before transitioning into something completely off the wall and so uniquely her.
Well, yes... that wasn't really up for interpretation. The Grammys angle is.

Not gonna lie… it kinda plays into another line in the album; “AOTY(why)—I ain’t win”

Like, she doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to calling out some of the industry people who may have pushed her to this point dd. It’s definitely an interesting theory.

Country is all about fantasy and storytelling, so really when you think about it, the lines between her reality and fantasies (whether they’re dark or not) blurring throughout this album make total sense.
I wish she gave a bit more backstory into how she creates something like this (and Renny) because it clearly just doesn't, like.. happen. There's so many sprawling reference points, historical bulletpoints, musical threads she's pulling from, callbacks to other stuff that are either clearly signposted or easter eggs for fans. Are there endless mood boards, playlists, documents she uses to curate the albums? Is a full storytelling team involved in shaping all of it with her?

I haven't quite processed the album yet, but the actual labour that goes into something like this is just so endlessly fascinating.
She doesn't need to remove them to please people who prefer tighter albums, I can live with it! But acting like she's being subversive in an interlude world~ when half the album is interludes is just funny to me.
That is objectively not true when 20 of the 27 tracks are 3+ minutes and of the 7 interludes only 3 are spoken word and the other 4 are basically segues into the next song.
I know this has probably been asked a million times, but this thread moves FAST. Does anyone know if the standard CD be sold in stores soon, or is the one on the official store all there will be? I ask because I'd rather have the horse cover to match RENAISSANCE but at the end of the day I just want this on CD.