Beyoncé’s last album proves she’s got a great ear.

Forget about the surprise factor. With mounting doubt and skepticism stacked against her, Mrs. Carter quietly made her fifth album her best yet, at a time when her legacy needed an absolute heater to solidify it. BEYONCÉ proves she’s got a great knack for assembling a thorough body of work from top to finish, a notion reinforced by the amount of time she took recording, trimming, and cutting. Her dedication was especially apparent upon hearing that she created a Kanye-esque sleepaway camp comprised of a handful of key songwriters and producers (in Long Island) for the bulk of the sessions. Of the two artists in the Carter-Knowles household, Yoncé has the more critically acclaimed recent release. Her next project, whether it’s a solo or a collab album, has to stack up to the project that a whole lot of people considered a lock for the Album of the Year Grammy. Put another way: She’s got as much to lose from making tossed-off cutesy tracks as Jay does.