Still the 1

In advance, this is not really a review of the album. Not exactly. I’d consider it a discussion of sorts, if you’re into talking about Queen B for that long.

You know, I could’ve opened this article by quoting lyrics at you, but I didn’t. I get a cookie.

Let me start with the well-known fact that I am a big Beyoncé fan.

Not the creepy/obsessive kind, more like I appreciate her talent and confidence with herself. I even used to think she was overrated (and in a way, she is, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s incredibly skilled and someone I find to be very inspirational)!

I’m always dancing to her. My bosses know about my affinity for Bey. I watched her recent Super Bowl performance and almost cried. My roommates will have to deal with a Beyoncé welcome mat for our apartment.

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Plus, have you seen her face? Does she look in the mirror and weep tears of joy? Like damn, B, can I be you?

There’s plenty I could say about Queen B, but I’m not here to fangirl. I’m here to talk about her new album, LEMONADE, and the true depth behind the beautifully recorded visual album.

Besides the reference to her song, Countdown, if you’re a dedicated Beyoncé follower like me, you know fans were counting down to when we’d be blessed with another album. If I’m being honest, this article was originally a “can you guess when the album will drop?!” piece, but as of April 23rd, we don’t need to guess anymore. Beyoncé released LEMONADE on Tidal and the world just about exploded— at least, mine did.

I didn’t really have a guess as to when the album would drop. See, I have trouble keeping up with pop culture and trending news, but when the Beyhive was graced with Formation not too long ago, my phone blew up with texts from friends. “Did you hear the new Beyoncé song?! Do you like it? Of course you do.”

And they were right, of course I liked it. It’s Beyoncé.

Naturally, after the release of one song, everyone is desperate to hear more… Myself included. Beyoncé has released albums every 2 or 3 years since she went solo in 2003 with “Dangerously in Love.” Basically speaking, we were due for another, and LEMONADE was right on schedule. She followed her single, Formation, with a new athleisure line, Ivy Park, and luckily, Bey’s consistency didn’t falter, as LEMONADE was released on April 23rd, 2016.

I’m listening to the album now, and each time it plays over (yes, it’s on loop, and my roommates probably hate me), I notice something else significantly powerful in her words. Each song possesses something more or equally powerful than the last.

The tracklist:

  1. Pray You Catch Me

  2. Hold Up

  3. Don’t Hurt Yourself (feat. Jack White)

  4. Sorry

  5. 6 Inch (feat. The Weeknd)

  6. Daddy Lessons

  7. Love Drought

  8. Sandcastles

  9. Forward (feat. James Blake)

  10. Freedom (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

  11. All Night

  12. Formation

Also, on each track (with the exception of Formation), she touches on a different emotion, as seen in the HBO film special. Each emotion is an expression of a different personal issue she faces, providing a very-much needed reminder that she is, in fact, human, even if she slays every day.

The emotions exhibited in the visual presentation of LEMONADE:

  1. Intuition
  2. Denial
  3. Anger
  4. Apathy
  5. Emptiness
  6. Accountability
  7. Reformation
  8. Forgiveness
  9. Resurrection
  10. Hope
  11. Redemption

In her own words, Beyoncé tells listeners, between songs, about prayer and desperation, about the loss of her love, about the life and, evidently, the death of her children. She whispers, “Are you cheating on me?… Will you speak of both of my children, dead and alive?”

The entire ensemble is a haunting visual and musical masterpiece, not only (possibly/likely?) exposing Jay-Z as a cheater (maybe now we finally have an explanation for the whole Solange vs Jay elevator incident of 2014), but her father as a cheater, and Bey’s own miscarriage.

LEMONADE is a listening experience any music-lover would appreciate, and the depth behind the lyrics makes the album all the more interesting. It’s full of raw emotion, and in my opinion, as of yesterday, she reminded the world why we call her Queen Bey. Despite her hardship, I know she’ll keep slaying, through everything.

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