BEYONCE — I AM…SASHA FIERCE (Platinum Edition)

Already awash with hit singles, this new edition of Beyonce’s 2008 barnstormer also features a host of bonus tracks and music videos.

Anyone wowed by the diva in Abu Dhabi may consider purchasing this bumper edition, which juxtaposes the singer’s humble and shy side with that of her brash, limelight-hogging alter ego, Sasha Fierce.

Diva is the definitive Fierce moment on the 20-track collection. Drenched in attitude, the track sees producer-of-the-minute Bangladesh repeating the minimalist magic he wove on Lil Wayne’s A Milli.

The personality distinction can get a little confusing, however. Ego, one of six tracks added onto the original release, blurs the line between self-promotion and wide-eyed awe of her paramour.

However, the added remix with verses from Kanye West injects freshness into the glitzy R&B tune. Speaking about his own ego, the listener is given a glimpse into a man who has become synonymous with his own diva-like tantrums and self-aggrandisement.

Even passing fans probably know half the tunes off the initial album — fist-pumping ballad If I Were A Boy, the dark MJ-esque synth-pop of Sweet Dreams, the celestial gospel of Halo — all of which are featured on a second disc DVD as part of the platinum package.

Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) also deserves a mention, and not just because of West’s embarrassing rant to Taylor Swift at the MTV Awards. The video is a genuinely impressive feat of choreography, reinforcing Beyonce’s multiple-threat star qualities as a singer, dancer and general figure of desire and adulation.

Of the four remaining bonus tracks, the emphasis leans towards Beyonce’s introspective side. Beginning with a riff which sounds straight from a Creed songbook, That’s Why You’re Beautiful is a lush and understated affair. It never catches alight, but the effect is a little hypnotising nonetheless.

Smash Into You is a pleasant if undiscerning slow number, while Honesty fares little better — sounding like an under-par offering for a Disney soundtrack.

Hello is the highlight of the newbies. The Texan’s rapid-fire vocal delivery contrasts well with the unhurried piano parts, although the song’s Jerry Maguire theme may be a little nauseating for some. The platinum edition of I Am…Sasha Fierce isn’t without its filler, but overall the quality is as high as one would expect from the number one lady of R&B. Brand Beyonce marches on — stronger, sassier and fiercer than ever.

RATING: 8 out of 10

Choice picks: Sweet Dreams, If I Were A Boy, Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)

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