Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter Review: A Country Takeover Featuring Miley Cyrus, Tanner Adell, Dolly Parton, and More

“Genres are a funny little concept aren’t they?” American country icon Linda Martell muses on a sample on Beyonce’s Cowboy Carter, her eighth studio album. As Beyoncé herself has said about this record: it’s not a country album, it’s a Beyoncé album.

Across 27 songs, the musician dips in and out of sounds from a folk and country palette, plays with language and Americana iconography, and creates a seamless landscape that’s both sprawling and focused. Along the way, she pulls in collaborators like Miley Cyrus, Dolly Parton, Willie Jones, Willie Nelson, and Tanner Adell to fill out her world, pairing their voices with an adventurousness and swagger wholly her own.

“The joy of creating music is that there are no rules,” Beyoncé said in a press release. “I think people are going to be surprised because I don’t think this music is what everyone expects, but it’s the best music I’ve ever made.”

To unpack the album, Teen Vogue editors Kaitlyn McNab, Aiyana Ishmael, P. Claire Dodson, Jillian Selzer, and Versha Sharma parked in a group chat and listened through the 27 tracks on Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter together.

P. Claire Dodson, Senior Culture Editor: okay what is your favorite Beyoncé album era

Jillian Selzer, Social Media Manager: i had a visceral reaction to deja vu the first time i heard it so i’m inclined to say B’Day

Jillian: but self-titled came out at a very pivotal time in my life sooooo

Kaitlyn McNab, Culture News Editor: whew that’s hard

Kaitlyn: i know self-titled literally changed the world and everything

Kaitlyn: but 4 and Lemonade changed my life 😭

Jillian: RT to lemonade

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Jillian: she was already obviously an icon when it came out, but i specifically remember watching the visual album for it and being like “oh sh*t”

Jillian: it immediately felt like (and is) one of the most monumental musical projects in our lifetime

Kaitlyn: i think that’s the incredible thing about Bey: each project is more monumental than the last

Kaitlyn: it is a life event, every single time

Jillian: do i reflect on my life at specific ages or personal major events? no

Jillian: i track it by beyoncé drops

Versha Sharma, Editor-in-Chief: For me it was probably self-titled until Lemonade which yes, changed everything. I remember being on vacation with friends and just rewatching the visual album on my own on loop lmao.

Versha: And the Formation world tour was just incredible. It was during the 2016 election so have to say being with thousands of people in Queens while Beyoncé stood in front of a giant FEMINIST screen listening to Chimamanda’s voice like the voice of God was everything. It felt like church. One that I’ll always go back to


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