Beyoncé is back and she has returned to the charts in what can only be described as pure and unadulterated Queen B Glory.
Social media has exploded over the past weekend with talk of the unexpected release of Beyoncé’s latest album “Lemonade on Tidal.” Without a doubt, all that Beyoncé has to do is breathe in our direction and she’ll be trending on Twitter, but this album is something special.
At first, it was just exciting to hear new more Beyoncé music; her single “Formation” gave us a little taste of what was to come, but what she has delivered is a production beyond our wildest imagination.
“Lemonade” is a “visual album” that illustrates a complex story-line, complete with the intense inner turmoils of a woman scorned all while simultaneously infusing powerful African American historical imagery into the video. Just listening to the album is not enough after the experience viewing Beyoncé strutting down the pavement in a mustard-yellow antiquated gown, baseball bat slung over her shoulder, asking us, “What’s worse, looking jealous or crazy?” as she giddily smashes car windows and storefronts with reckless abandon.
Overall, the general visual aspect of the album is nothing short of impressive and thought provoking.
Each section titled with the different stages of an emotional voyage like “anger” and “denial”, as it takes the viewer on an exploration of the psyche of the wronged woman in a relationship to depths not usually touched upon in popular music. The extent that Beyoncé goes to in order to display what can only be understood to be her personal story is effective in reminding us of something really significant: Beyoncé is human too.
But this is why this album is so important and has already caused so much attention and conversation: Beyoncé, while reminding us of her humanity, is also opening the door for people to feel validated in their pain. If Beyoncé has felt worthless in her relationship, then we really aren’t alone anymore.
The sense of solidarity that is created from this album’s subject matter is unexpected and compelling.
No holds are barred in her lyrics: from the opening song, “Pray You Catch Me” where she claims that the dishonesty of her partner can practically be tasted in their breath to “Sorry” as a defiant Beyoncé declares, “Middle fingers up,
put them hands high / Wave it in his face, tell him, boy bye” . All of it works collectively as a wake up call to everyone who thinks that even the most picturesque relationships *cough* Beyoncé and Jay-Z *cough* don’t have their issues.
We are no longer the plebeians to Beyoncé’s greatness, who have to deal with getting cheated on and lied to while she sits high above us in her ivory tower of a perfect marriage: lo and behold even Queen B has had her fair share of hurt. Allowing us into her world, even if it is only for an hour, unites us to Beyoncé in a really genuine manner. Our failed relationships and hurt feelings no longer feel so pedestrian after finishing listening to “Lemonade”
Beyoncé laid all her cards on the table for us in a stark transparency and showed us that we do not have to let these struggles keep us down, no matter how difficult it may seem.
This album is not just a rage filled production stemming from being betrayed: it evokes a sense of resolution by the last track and not just in a relationship, but also a reconciliation with one’s self.
So lets raise a glass of lemonade to Beyoncé: thank you for showing us what to do with the lemons that life sometimes gives us.