Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ Is a Sprawling, Endlessly Entertaining Tour de Force

Chris Willman
March 29, 2024

What does “going country” mean to Beyoncé — musically speaking? That’s a mystery that really had to wait until this week to be solved. We’d already picked up a good idea of what country means to her culturally, in her few public statements in advance of “Act II: Cowboy Carter,” amplified in the one trillion thinkpieces published during the last two months, many of which really did help spur a vital conversation about Black exclusion and reclamation in one of America’s most important indigenous artforms. But now “Cowboy Carter” is in front of us as a real piece of music, not just a conversation piece. So what does what might already be the most talked-about album of the 21st century actually sound like?

Album cover Cowboy Carter
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