The first cut, "Lose My Breath," is as good as the CD gets; the track, helmed by Rodney Jerkins, uses a marching-band drum groove and piercing synths to catchy effect. Unfortunately, "Soldier," co-starring T.I. and Lil Wayne, is an utterly failed attempt to sound street, and undistinguished compositions such as "Bad Habit" are less interesting for the contributions of Knowles's cohorts, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. For instance, they add tenderly crooned harmonies to the last word of the "Free" line "If I don't, I might scream," when a passionate shriek would have been much more compelling.
Justin, it seems, had the right idea.