Idolatry is alive and well in 2016. Don’t believe me? Just say the name Beyonce` in a public place and tell me what happens. The usual reactions are both men and women sobbing, people getting in formation of all races and genders, and someone yelling “YAASSS QUEEN!”
The Ebony beauty with the Cotton Candy Pipes released a new album following her April 23 HBO Special of the same name exclusively via Tidal, a music streaming service only found on smart devices. Lemonade is Beyonce` ‘s 6th studio album and is currently retailing at 17.99 for a hard copy.
Song by Song Review
“Pray You Catch Me”: The ballad opens with Beyonce` crooning: “You can taste the dishonesty it’s all over your breath,” and so sets the main theme of the album: the bitter cross of infidelity and being cheated on. Musically, you hear elements of a church organ in parts like she’s bringing her troubles straight to the altar.
“Hold Up”: My favorite line on this track is “Been walked all over lately, I’d rather be crazy.” That is lyricism at its finest but with this track, Beyonce`’s musicality contains Carribean elements, paying homage to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Soulja Boy.
“Don’t Hurt Yourself”: Featuring Jack White, this is Beyonce` meets rock n’ roll. She’s channeling Tina Turner and Jimmy Hendrix on this track.
“Sorry”: The anthem of the entire album because of the heavy I AM FEMALE lyrical content. This song is for any woman who’s been done wrong by a man anytime, anywhere. The hook alone is a pop culture phenomenon: “Middle fingers up, put them hands high
Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye
Tell him, boy, bye, middle fingers up
I ain’t thinking ’bout you.
I ain’t sorry.” They even have yellow shirts with the phrase “Boy, Bye” on sale on Google. This is my favorite song on the entire album.
“6 Inch”: A R&B hit in the making, the track features the Weeknd, and has a strip club vibe about it musically. For me, it salutes any hard-working woman out there listening.
“Daddy Lessons” This is heavily played on Beyonce’s Pandora station. Opening with a trumpet solo, it pays homage to Beyonce’s childhood back in Texas and talks about her relationship with her father, and has the can’t miss line: “My daddy warned me about guys like you.”
“Love Drought”: R&B musicality, this track is an airy plea to reinvigorating a relationship riddled with trust issues and insecurities. It was co-produced by Kanye West’s long time collaborator, Mike Dean. He’s the reason behind the track’s floating synth line and rich bass section. This track was made two years prior to its release.
“Sandcastles”: A piano ballad song and played by Beyonce
this was inspired by the late Prince's advice to Beyonce to learn how to play the keys to really make music that sticks with people. Like the waves that wash “Sandcastles” away, reality has tested this marriage and the promises that were made. Now Beyoncé starts to think about what comes next.
“Forward”: A short but notable duet between Beyonce` and British singer James Blake, it is the turning point of the album. Moving “forward” from the infidelity and acting with courageous strength.
“Freedom”: Featuring Kendrick Lamar, it’s a song that takes you back through history and hints on racism and how it still very much exists. Along with issues affecting black women, social equality justice are major motifs of this song.
“All Night”: A midtempo love ballad featuring Diplo, it’s the unofficial close to the emotional journey of the album. The song illustrates a wise love, one that has experienced deep pain and disappointment yet was able to come out the other side determined to keep going. The chorus samples the infectious brass line from Outkast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.”
“Formation”: The lead single off the album, this track hits on many hints to the Black Lives Matter movement. Musically, Beyonce
incorporates Bounce style of hip-hop which originates from New Orleans. It closes out the album with trademark Beyonce` strength with the line: "I dream it, I work hard, I grind til I own it."
Whether you are just crawling out from under a pop culture oblivious rock or you are a super fan, there is something totally addicting in Beyonce’s lemonade and I’m going to keep on sipping on it to quench my musical thirst.