Beyoncé and Taylor Swift ought to get real and hear 55-year-old songstress Lucinda Williams, David Hajdu writes in the New Republic. Reviewing albums by all three, Hajdu dismisses Beyoncé's "bipolar" attempt to drum up musical personas, and warns Swift against such concoctions as her star rises. Williams' album, Little Honey, however, offers “an object lesson in how to be a grown woman in popular music."
Williams' ninth effort "is a big-hearted record—buoyant but reflective, a statesmanlike work of rock-and-roll music appropriate to its artist's age," Hajdu writes. Swift is still trapped in "pillow-book songs centered on the old-school high-school themes," but at least has a country music feel. Beyoncé lacks any authentic feel, rolling out a "dolled-up" club girl parody and "absurd repositioning strategy" on I Am... Sasha Fierce.