HOLLYWOOD—Beyonce has turned country. The album which includes duets with Miley Cyrus and Post Malone, along with covers of Dolly Parton’s Jolene and the Beatle’s song Blackbird has hit the charts. Country singers Willie Nelson and Linda Martell are also featured. We should have guessed something was up when Beyonce turned up at the Grammys in a cowboy hat, we should have known she was headed country.

A week after the Grammys, she officially announced her country era-dropping two surprise singles in the middle of the Super Bowl. The signs were all there. The album “Cowboy Carter,” has memorable songs that are playful, whimsical and above all touches the heart. With a dramatic opener in flows into a faithful cover of the Beatles Blackbird-chosen not just for its timeless melody, but for its inspiration: A group of nine Black students, known as the Little Rock Nine, who faced discrimination after enrolling in an all-white high school in Arkansas, 1957. It’s never really stated, but the parallels between their struggle and the segregation of country music are duly noted.

Then comes “Protector,” as a touching note to motherhood, introduced by Beyonce’s daughter Rumi, “Mum can I hear the lullaby please?” Daughter is much darker, proceeded by the 18th Century aria, Caro Mio Ben. Then comes “Jolene,” a cover of Dolly Parton- a country blockbuster inspired by a real-life brush with infidelity. Yes, Parton herself introduces the track, noting the parallels between her lyrics and a reference to Beyonce’s 2016 song “Sorry.” The point is no matter what genre, heartache hits the same. Other highlights include, “Just For Fun” and “YaYa,” a feel-good song that somehow interpolates a touch of the Beach Boy’s “Good Vibrations” and Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots are Made For Walkin.”

The instruments on the album are acoustic guitar, bass and piano, which gives the album a more should I say organic vibe that feels good. While Beyonce delivers all the country signifiers-which are rhinestones, whiskey, coyotes and snakes, denim and John Wayne-she also finds room for her usual sexiness, love and the general awesomeness of Beyonce herself. Let’s not forget she also gets a dig in at the Grammys, where she’s consistently been overlooked in the major categories, despite becoming one of the defining artists of her generation. “Album of the Year, I ain’t win, I ain’t stung by them,” she shrugs on the magnificently-titled ‘Sweet*Honey* Bucklin,’ before promising to “come back” and shake up the industry all over again. Yes, this new album is part of that plan, an amazing country-pop record that proves her adaptability, skilled with mastery, regardless of the genre she can do it.

According to fans that ordered Beyonce’s latest album on vinyl are reporting that five of the tracks have gone missing. The songs an interludes reported missing are: “Spaghetti,” “Flamenco,” “The Linda Martell Show,” “YaYa” and “Oh Louisiana,” according to published reports. It’s not clear whether all vinyl copies are affected. Fans have also reported that CD copies are missing four tracks. The likely explanation is that Beyonce added these songs late into the albums creation.

Vinyl pressing plants are booked months in advance, with lead times of 10 weeks to 6 months-meaning albums have to be submitted long in advance of their release. It’s also not unusual for artists to tweak track lists and arrangements at the last minute. Yes, Kanye West updated his 2016 album, “The Life of Pablo” several times after it was released, with songs updating on streaming services for weeks before he was finally satisfied. Her previous album “Renaissance,” was also modified. In a press release last week when it was released, the star said “Cowboy Carter” had taken “over five years” to create.

“Renaissance” was a response to the COVID-19 lockdown, it was more the dance-centric music. It was created to dance, since the world was in a much darker place. Nonetheless, Beyonce has been praised for an impressive country album, that many fans simply adore.

Rose’s Scoop: “Cowboy Carter,” is officially “Act II” of what Beyonce has said will be a three-album cycle, which began with “Renaissance” in 2022. That motif repeats throughout the album’s 27-song track list.