BEYONCÉ [Platinum Edition]
Label: Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia
American pop wants a queen, and Beyoncé is happy to fill that role. "Bow down, b*tches!" she shouts on "Flawless," just before girding her ego with a speech by feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and then deflating it by remembering Destiny's Child loss on Star Search. Yes, Queen Bey is a complicated woman who imagines herself and husband Jay Z as a "Superpower," but also asserts that she's "just human" on "Jealous." Most of all, this emotionally vibrant album is about the pleasure and pain of being "Drunk in Love" and marriage, and the birth of daughter "Blue" as their blessed treasure.