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Classical Notes

Read Nico Muhly's epic analysis of the new Beyonce album

Posted at 9:40 AM on December 19, 2013 by Jay Gabler
Filed under: In the media

"I had a series of disjointed thoughts about that Beyoncé album," tweeted Nico Muhly, sharing a link to an epic 4,000-word analysis of the pop star's new self-titled album — a detailed and hilarious document referred to by the writer Emily Gould as Muhly's "Beyoncéxegesis."

Though Muhly is one of the world's most acclaimed young composers, his essay on Beyoncé is more emotional and impressionistic than technical. Still, he calls out multiple "missed opportunities" where he would like to have heard real instruments rather than synths and samples. "If somebody had dug up, like, four extra thousand dollars, they could have had a really 3-D string arrangement and gone for it," Muhly writes about the song "Superpower."

"The credits, tellingly," Muhly writes about the album's concluding track, "reveal a 'violin' arranger; but surely this is a woman whose voice requires not just violins, but violas, cellos, basses, violas da gamba, trombones, zithers, hurdies-gurdy, the works!"

Read Muhly's entire analysis — which, heads-up, includes some NSFW language — at the Talkhouse.