Beyoncé • Beyoncé Platinum Edition (More) • Columbia • US Release Date: November 24, 2014
Beyoncé does something that many artists have done in recent times – rereleases a popular album with additional tracks. In the case of Mrs. Carter, Beyoncé was already a stacked album in its fullest form, featuring 14 songs and 18 videos. Being that Beyoncé IS Beyoncé and the fact that her self-titled album was one of the few platinum albums of recent times, can you knock her for issuing a platinum edition? Luckily for those who have already purchased Beyoncé, rather than repurchasing the album in full to get the new tracks, there is a version entitled Beyoncé Platinum Edition (More).
The million-dollar question is, is the Platinum Edition (More) worth the $9 price tag? Well, the packaging itself is worth the money as More features six additional tracks and 10 videos, all live from the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. In that regard, More is a great deal. However, if videos aren’t your thing and you only desire the six tracks, then the deal is a bit less enthralling.
The main attraction of is definitely “7/11.” “7/11” fits the fierceness of Beyoncé in its original release. That said, the song itself doesn’t necessarily sound like a perfect match for Beyoncé herself. It’s slickly produced and embodies contemporary R&B with its elements of hip-hop, but “7/11” doesn’t give Yoncé a hit nearly as tall as her preeminent ones. Later another newbie “Ring Off” is much more effective and less far-fetched. It is a better fit for Beyoncé by all means, though still feels truly like a bonus track, not another gargantuan smash.
Otherwise, aside from the videos, More is characterized by its remixes. “Flawless Remix” features Nicki Minaj, who is as feisty as always. The bigger surprise is just how raw Beyoncé is, in full-fledged potty mouth mode (“We escalating, up in this bitch like elevators”). “Drunk In Love Remix” adds Kanye West to the Jay-Z featuring track, extending the song to a lengthy six-and-a-half minutes. And as expected, Yeezy is in his zone: “But far as handlin’ all that ass, I think you gon’ need some help / let me remind you, you got a, you got a great future behind you.”
The “Blow Remix” adds co-writer/producer Pharrell Williams to the mix, arguably serving as the most natural of the remixes. There’s no feel of overreaching or going ‘over the top’ like “Flawless Remix” or “Drunk In Love Remix.” “Standing on the Sun Remix” concludes the audio tracks of More in so-so fashion. Beyoncé achieves some vocal grit and shows off the exceptionality of her pipes, but the tropically infused remix isn’t nearly as great as “Baby Boy” featuring Sean Paul from 2003 effort Dangerously in Love.
So is Beyoncé Platinum Edition (More) designed for the casual listener? Nope – this is a ‘for fans only’ type affair. For those who haven’t experienced Beyoncé in its original form, purchasing the full platinum edition with the bonus tracks is the best choice or merely purchasing the original itself. Unless one is just married to the four remixes and two bonus tacks, Beyoncé Platinum Edition (More) does little. Compared to say Usher’s rerelease of Confessions back when, Usher would get the nod over B.