Advance buzz suggested that Beyoncé would use her new Sasha Fierce alter ego to explore some new musical tangents, which makes this uninspired double album all the more disappointing.
Disc one, devoted to Beyoncé, is mostly plodding mid-tempo pop ballads stripped of most of the soul and R&B touches we associate with her. On the second disc, the Sasha Fierce pseudonym apparently just refers to uptempo club tracks, many of which sound suspiciously like selected rewrites of bangers from her last few outings.
Had this material been stripped down to a single disc, without the dual personality marketing scheme, there might very well have been a decent album here. Unfortunately, the "deluxe edition" is bloated with filler, and the shorter "standard edition" omits some of the more creative songs instead of dropping the duds.
Top track: Diva