As I was listening to some of my favorite albums I realized that the women in pop have very well done fourth albums. The fourth album normally stands out in their discographies for including more personal elements than their previous releases, lacking filler, and experimenting with new sounds. Now these are just a couple of my favorite pop albums but I think these albums are the definitive works for each of the artists below.
1 In the Zone by Britney Spears
Britney fans always debate about her best album and it normally ends with a tie between Blackout and In the Zone. I always preferred the latter because Britney really showcased her vulnerable side with this record and explored new topics while staying aware of her place in pop music. Her vocals had this haunting element that elevated the moody landscape of the album. My only wish is that this era had six singles instead of 4. The best tracks on this album are Breathe on Me, Touch of My Hand, Shadow, Everytime, and of course Toxic.
2 4 by Beyonce
After I Am...Sasha Fierce everyone was waiting to see what Beyonce would do next. Would it be possible for her to top Single Ladies? I think this album accomplished that and even more. This might not be a popular opinion but I will always maintain that 4 is Beyonce’s best album. 4 is more R&B with a classic Beyonce edge to it and her vocals are nothing short of brilliant. Additionally, it showed that Beyonce didn’t need the radio to be successful and that a real career needs more than hit singles. The highlights of this timeless album are the should’ve been lead single End of Time, I Was Here, Love on Top, I Miss You, and Start Over.
3 Sweetener by Ariana Grande
So this album is brand new but it belongs on this list because it is a step up from Dangerous Woman in an unexpected but amazing way. Ariana Grande found a sound that showcases her vocal talent, love of experimentation, and personality. She was always ahead of her peers musically but this is the first time she created an album without placeholder tracks. The whole album is worth listening to but the standout tracks are Raindrops (An Angel Cried), God is a Woman, Everytime, Goodnight n Go, and No Tears Left to Cry.
In the Zone, 4, and Sweetener are my favorite fourth albums by the mainstream women in pop. If you haven’t given these albums a try then I would definitely recommend opening Spotify up right now. As always I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have a different favorite album by these women please share it below in the comment section.
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