BROOKE THAMES; A&C Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the moment Beyonce announced the Formation tour, I wondered how the best girl in the game could launch a nation-wide stadium tour without any new music to perform. But the release of Lemonade Saturday, April 23 reminded me one should never underestimate Queen Bey.
Similar to her self-titled album from 2013, Lemonade spontaneously generated without much promotion. A single trailer announced that Yoncé had once again made magic and HBO was going to air it the following weekend.
A quick scroll through the singer’s Instagram feed, however, showed that Lemonade had been cryptically advertised for quite some time, with pictures of the tart fruit appearing repeatedly on her account. Many speculated that the mysterious project was a second visual album reminiscent of 2013’s Beyonce, which featured a full-length music video for every song.
Suspicions proved partially true when Lemonade premiered on HBO last Saturday. Only instead of a visual album, Lemonade premiered as an hour-long musical film featuring 11 out of the 12 new songs featured on Beyonce’s new album of the same name.
The Lemonade film tells the story of marital betrayal, moving through various stages of grief from denial, to anger, to acceptance and restoration. Poetry – written by young Afro-British poet Warsan Shire – separates the tracks and their accompanying visuals, providing additional depth into the emotions presented in the album’s songs and the film’s cinematography.
Fans and critics have cited Lemonade as Beyonce’s most personal work to date, and many have let their imaginations run wild as to the inspiration for such an album.
The most popular interpretation asserts that Jay cheated on Bey and Lemonade is a testament to the emotional experience of rebuilding a marriage after infidelity.
The album surely offers this narrative, moving through doubt, anger, apathy and finally reconciliation.
It’s a journey through destruction into rebirth – a story of spinning burnt straw into gold through resilience and an unrelenting will to survive.
The album’s title delivers the same the message, only wrapped in a different metaphorical package: “Life served me lemons, but I made lemonade.”
More than a visual album, “Lemonade” is an experience – one that takes more than a half-page to explain. So, instead of going through the album in depth, here’s each track described in five words and rated with a
Soft. Bouncy. Airy. Breathy. Haunting
Reggae. Chill. Light. Breezy. Melodic
Harsh. Angry. Intense. Heavy. Complex.
Dancey. Apathetic. #Done. Sassy. Empowering.
Somber. Serious. Severe. Sexy. Steady.
Surprising. Classic. Southern. New. Genius.
Cute. Unspectacular. Basic. Expected. Mundane.
Lovely. Emotional. Powerful. Honest. Full.
Anthem. Liberating. Solid. Motivating. Favorite.
Deep. Melancholy. Foreboding. Eerie. Vexing.
Beautiful. Peaceful. Restorative. Endearing. Soaring.
We all know this song is amazing. ‘Nuff said. ◼︎