The wait is officially over! Beyoncé has released her 6th studio album, Lemonade. The visual album was released April 23rd exclusively via a HBO special before receiving its obvious spot exclusively on Tidal just days before the beginning of the Formation World Tour.
14 songs that sound nothing like what we are used to from Beyoncé. This album isn’t the typical hype album, however Tidal in a statement called Lemonade, “a conceptual project based on every woman’s journey of self knowledge and healing, featuring 12 new songs and a corresponding short film.” This album captures all the feelings a woman has inside her head during the emotion roller coaster of a relationship.
This project is seriously some stunning work; the visualizations and artistry portrayed in this album/film is pure art. You simply don’t get works of art from the entertainment industry like this in 2016. This is a collective body of work, each song flowing together to create a story… Isn’t that what an album is supposed to be..? (No shade)
A few interesting features appear on this album, songs feature Jack White, James Blake, The Weeknd, and a hot hit with Kendrick Lamar as well.
One thing that can’t be ignored in the album however is how majority of the project revolves around infidelity. Who else could Beyoncé be talking about? Her husband Jay Z? Could she just be advocating for the average oppressed woman? Is she consoling herself? Or is she attempting to console those hurt and lost souls out there? These are all valid questions still left to be answered. But with how private is Bey is with her private life, I would be shocked that if Jay actually cheated, she would announce it to the world especially as an album.
Let’s go over a few highlights from the album:
The album starts off extremely sad, Pray You Don’t Catch Me inferring that she had been cheated on and hurt but then the second song sets somewhat of a different tone.
Hold Up: The second song in the album is telling the person she’s with that nobody going to be with them as she would. She gave this person the world and in return she got played. In the video she is walking around in broad daylight, baseball bat in hands, smashing everything in her sight from car windows to glass storefronts. However at the same time, she’s smiling and laughing because she’d rather be crazy than jealous. She even goes as far as to running over a line of cars with a monster truck; Come on Destructive-Yoncé!
Don’t Hurt Yourself: The third song goes hand in hand with Hold Up in a sense. She found out the person she is with is not being loyal though investigative research but its almost as if she does not want to believe what she is seeing before her eyes. She gave this person the world and even then some. Beyoncé lets it be known that she does not and will not get played, you will always just ending up playing yourself. This song is a genre of its own, a soulful light rock song sang so crisp. We are getting all the grunts in the world in this song showing off the multiple abilities Bey’s voice has grown into being able to do over the years.
Sorry: We slightly get a turn up song although this one is a chill one but it’s one with a message. She’s done. That’s it. She’s tired of dealing with whoever she is dealing with. He won’t stop hitting her up but she just does not care at all. She’s doing her and that’s her focus. “Tell ’em Boy bye! Boy bye!” is even in the chorus. She is damn near at the point of no return. Serena Williams makes a cameo in this song’s video, posing next to Queen B and twerking at times too!
6 inch (ft. The Weeknd): This song of the album performed with the Weeknd is a spiritual sequel to the Ghost section of Haunted in Bey’s previous self-tilted album. There’s no polite or politically correct way to say this, this is simply a boss-bitch anthem. It’s creepy yet chill tone can definitely be played in the club. The encouraging record sounds to be for working women, she believes women need to be working 24/7 whether it’s at her job, at home handling business, and simply be an independent self-made boss that slays at the same time. In the video, she’s parading through the town giving me legs for days rocking 6 inch heels in an all red camera filter. I can see this being a summer bop for Summer 2016 easily.
Daddy Lessons: Here’s another theory with who this album is about, it could also be about her father. It’s no secret that Bey’s father and former manager Mathew Knowles cheated on his former wife Tina Knowles-Larson. This obviously had an impact on their child’s life. Could the album be about the issues stemming from that incident? Despite that, this song highlights Beyoncé’s childhood in Texas and her strong relationship with her father regardless of what has happened in the past. It’s almost like saying she is forgiving of not only a lover but also a family member such as a father. During the video we get a whole bunch of clips showing videos of Mathew and little baby Bey, then showing similar child of Blue Ivy in the same poses as Bey as a child. This country-toned song is something totally different than anything we ever have gotten from Bey’s extensive career. I could totally see her singing this on the CMA stage. Her spin at country music has me so interested in what else she could do. It’s one of the best sung songs on the album in my opinion.
Love Drought: This song is one of my favorites off of the album. I feel this song there could possibly be a connection with Jay Z. This record says relationships, even those that appear perfect, are not as they always seem. Relationships are difficult. The lyrics specifically address having multiple insecurities and issues of trust due to something in the past proving that these types of things happen to everyone none is immune to negative events occurring to them despite how precisely perfect you are to them. Everything from how Bey sings the verses so light, paired with the soothing chorus creates an amazing hit combined with a floating synth line and heavy bass section produced by Mike Dean. I hope we get this song live at the Formation World Tour.
Sandcastles: If you listen to this song and feel no emotion, you are emotionless. You don’t even have to be going through anything at all, but this song is filled with so much emotion you have no choice but to feel as soulful as Bey’s vocals.
Forward (ft. James Blake): I absolutely love James Blake as an artist. His clean, calm, and cool vibes are candy to my ears and he continues to do that in this song. It just sucks that the song is the shortest song on the album logging in at only 1 minute and 19 seconds.
Freedom (ft. Kendrick Lamar): This song is pretty dope too. It’s totally an anthem for African-American rights which makes it obvious why Kendrick Lamar was selected for the feature. He is outspoken when it comes to the Black Lives Matter movement especially with his own anthem, “Alright”. We wanted more music that had true meaning and inspiration like some may say ‘old music’ used to and this bob is a positive-vibed record to a very serious topic. This empowering jam symbolizes overcoming the racism we still deal with on a daily basis in today’s society. For all people, many things in life restrain us as human because many of us are so vulnerable. Some are captivated by an unhealthy relationship, some are so vain they stray from the beauty of life and then there are those that have allowed substances to dominate their lives. At the very beginning of the song she references painting white flags blue symbolizing she is done surrendering and ready to breakthrough the obstacles holding her down (chains). In modern terms, we are the slaves seeking freedom from the things binding us. At the end of the video Jay Z’s 90 year old grandmother speaks to a crowd in a home video saying:
I had my ups and downs, but I always find the inner strength to cool myself off. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.” -Ms. Hattie White, Jay Z’s grandmother.
This clip opens our eyes to how the album got it’s title. When stuff goes down, you gotta make the best out of the situation.
All Night: The album ends with a upbeat record speaking on overcoming the trials and tribulations that come with being in a relationship and in the end, making it out on the positive spectrum of things. The lyricism is about healing to mend her broken heart. She’s looking for the light at the end of the tunnel because she truly loves who she is dealing with and she believes she made it through the storm completing the story of heartache. It’s not the fastest song on the album, but the vibe alone is enough for me to get my dance on!
Watch Beyonce’s newest album Lemonade here on Beyonce.Tidal.com.
Let me know what you thought of the album below.