ALBUM REVIEW: Beyoncé – Lemonade
Not only is Beyoncé the queen of everything, she specializes in being the queen of surprise and enjoys to watch everyone have heart palpitations while she drops her sixth studio album. “Lemonade” is a visual album that explores infidelity and how far you are willing to go for love. The fact if the story surrounding this album is true or fictional is irrelevant because the emotion the songs evoke is powerful enough to have you believing and feeling every word she says. The twelve tracks experiments between pop, soul, hip hop, R&B, blues, rock, country, gospel, funk and trap. So yeah, pretty much every genre and she does it successfully capturing the vibes and emotions each genre specifically embodies. This isn’t what you would expect your typical Beyoncé album to sound like, it’s not your radio ready feel good pop collection, it’s a dark and reflective masterpiece that carries on the visual impact her last album made. If you’re reading this you have most likely already listened to the album and have already formed opinions of your own. But I honestly believe this is the strongest and the most empowerful we have heard Beyoncé. The majority of these songs are about heartbreak but they look at it in a positive light, reflecting on how everything happens for a reason and forming your own strength to battle these hurdles life throws at you. And obviously there are moments her sassy side comes out swinging and she doesn’t hold back with quotes like “He better call Becky with the good hair” and “middle fingers up put them hands high, tell him boy bye”. She manages to perfectly correlate this with a vulnerable touch that has you feeling the desperate tone in her delivery. Opening ballad “Pray You Catch Me” perfectly introduces the plot of intuition that leads into the playful denial track “Hold Up”. These songs complement each other with her gospel vocals translating into a brash funk delivery. The most surprising song on the record comes from the Jack White collaboration “Don’t Hold Yourself” that has her experimenting with a rock and blues sound that somehow works so well. She continues this experimentation with the refreshing “Freedom” and the country storytelling “Daddy Lessons” where she tells “With his gun and his head held high he told me not to cry. Oh my daddy said shoot”. It wouldn’t be a Beyoncé album without some ballads and “Love Drought” gives you the closest to mediocre that she possibly could but “Sandcastles” will leave you feeling breathless from the simple production to the heartbreaking delivery. “Sorry” is the most similar sounding track to anything else in repertoire followed closely by “All Night” which gives you the most euphoric feeling to close out the album. From start to finish “Lemonade” is a vivid masterpiece that interpolates so many different variables and ideas but still manages to deliver a strong body of work. The reaction and attention this album has already received just really goes to show the impact she has had on popular culture and whether you love her or don’t agree with her ideals (which let’s be honest if you don’t like Beyoncé you are kidding yourself) you can’t deny how brilliant this album is. This is a record you need to listen to a couple of times to really soak in the different messages and musical ideas, but you also need to watch the accompanying movie because all I can say about that is, she slays.