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Beyonce at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Beyonce at the 2021 Grammy Awards
Photo by Cliff Lipson / CBS
Culture > Entertainment

Cowboy Carter is One of Beyoncé’s Best Albums

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UGA chapter.

On Friday, March 29, Beyoncé released her eighth studio album and Act II to RenaissanceCowboy Carter. It was preceded by her two lead singles, “16 CARRIAGES” and “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM.” She dove into the country genre for this album, and it did not disappoint. 

This was arguably one of — if not, the most — experimental albums she’s ever made. She mixed country with rap and R&B, she tapped into opera and sang in Italian (check out the song “DAUGHTER”), she threw some pop in there, and had so many other surprise elements. After getting backlash for her 2016 CMA performance, she took back the country genre — which was already originally rooted in Black culture in the first place.

In the letter she wrote about Cowboy Carter, she said “This ain’t a country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album,” and she was right. Although there was a clear theme throughout, it had that special Queen Bey touch that’s always found in her discography. She also mentioned that this album has been five years in the making, which is insane. If she’s been sitting on this album for that long, it makes me excited to see what’s to come for Act III and beyond. There’s probably tons of unreleased music that she’s still waiting to perfect for us to hear. She’s a perfectionist, and as much as I love new music, I like how she’s taking her time.

She collaborated with so many people on this album, and with how intricate and in-depth it is, it’s not hard to see why. She sang a cover of “Blackbird” by The Beatles with other, smaller Black female country artists, which was amazing. One notable icon on this album is Dolly Parton, who has an interlude on the album named after her, where she spoke and introduced Beyoncé’s original rendition of her hit classic, “Jolene”. Also featured on this same song is Stevie Wonder, who played the harmonica in the background.

Now, the album has 27 songs, and I’d love to give my thoughts on all of them. Instead, I’m going to highlight my personal top ten:

ya ya

This song is so energetic, and it kind of reminds me of the ending scene with “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray. The song is all over the place, but in a good way. I think it’s one of the best on the album.


This song is so sweet and sentimental. Her daughter, Rumi, is featured on it and it’s all about growing up and watching your children get older. As soon as I heard it, I sent it to my mom because it reminded me of her.


This song took me by surprise. It starts sweet, and then the beat drops and it completely shifts tones and throws you for a loop. The chorus is catchy and I can’t wait to dance to this at a party somewhere.


I love how smooth this song feels. It’s very reminiscent of her R&B roots, but it’s still fresh. The chorus is amazing and I’m always going back to play this one on repeat.


I love it when Beyoncé raps, and this was one of the first songs I went back to replay when I finished my first listen-through of the album. I like how it starts with Linda Martell saying “Genres are a funny little concept aren’t they?” because this album was so fluid and doesn’t fit into one single category.


I already talked about this earlier, but it deserves another mention. Everyone’s voices came together wonderfully, and the harmonies were so angelic. I love it even more than the original.

sweet honey buckin

This is three songs in one, and I love how they feel so different yet so cohesive at the same time. My favorite portion is “Honey,” but I really love “Buckin,” too. I also like how Beyoncé used stars to separate the song parts in the title.

desert eagle

I love this song because it feels very “Partition”-esque but with a southern twang. It gets me dancing and it’s reminiscent of how much fun she likes to have with her lyrics.

levii’s jeans

Post Malone was the last person I expected her to collaborate with, but it worked out perfectly. This song feels so summery, and it’s catchy and fun. I love the laidback, relaxed vibe that it has, and I hope we get to see them perform it together live.

ii most wanted

When I saw that Miley was on the tracklist, I was so excited to see her getting back to her country roots. Her and Beyoncé’s voices complimented each other perfectly, and nobody was overshadowed. I love a good ballad, and I think is at the top of the list of my favorite duets.

Honorable mentions go to “16 CARRIAGES” and “RIIVERDANCE.” It was so hard for me to pick my favorite ten, and it’s honestly still changing with every listen. And I still don’t know where Cowboy Carter falls in my Beyoncé album ranking, but I do know that her self-titled album is still my number one.

I can’t wait for the Act II tour, and I’m already looking for my cowboy boots and my hat.

Gabby Floyd is a fourth year Special Education major at UGA. She loves social justice, Olive Garden breadsticks, and Spider-Man movies. In her free time, she's usually reading, binge watching Glee, or making niche Spotify playlists.