It’s been a long time coming, but believe me, ladies and gents, it was worth the wait.
BEYONCÉ LEMONADE (Parkwood/ Columbia)
I’ve been waiting for this moment. I’ve been waiting for 13 years and 6 albums. Ever since that magnificent solo debut single, Crazy In Love and that not so magnificent solo debut album. I’ve been waiting for this, because I was convinced that she had it in her. She has been providing greatness with performances and singular tracks, but until now her albums have left me blank and dissappointed. So when she finally does it, she does it with such excellence and conviction, that she breaks my heart and then rebuilds it all over again.
You can taste the dishonesty, it’s all over your breath as you pass it off so cavalier
Putting your private life and personal crisis out on display is always very risky, as it could become a sad, sordid public affair, but in Beyoncé’s case it has become quite the opposite. Where it could’ve turned into soppy and sentimental, instead she’s created ravishing and furious body of work, dealing with infidelity, insecurity, empowering and forgiveness. Nevermind the fact that musically it isn’t always as cohesive as the narrative, because when her narration is so crystal clear and so focused it really doesn’t matter. Beyoncé has clearly taken a life altering challenge and out of that created her best album yet.
I’m not too perfect, to ever feel this worthless
In Hold Up, she asks herself which is worst, being jealous or crazy, she choses crazy. Beyoncé, I thank you for that, as I think that is a way of avoiding to become bitter. Not saying no bitter emotions are allowed, but by allowing yourself to react and act on it, you move forward. Musically Hold Up is upbeat and bouncy, but she exquistely juxtaposes it with its lyrical content and that is the absolute strength and core of the album. She allows her stoic and grand stage persona finally crack and show vulnerability.
Suck on my balls, pause, I had enough
The gorgeously nonchalant Sorry is another highlight with its no-apologizes-mantra and her newfound strength and courage, she’s advising that “Big homie better grow up” and “he better call Becky with the good hair”. Already classic lines. Even the unlikely collaboration with Jack White creats magic in Don’t Hurt Yourself, as well as the magnificent Freedom with Kendrick Lamar.
Ten times of nine I know you’re lying, nine times of ten I know you’re trying
Yes, the strong narrative creates organic bridges over the musical diversity, but no diamond is perfect, thankfully. The only time she allows herself to get soppy, that is also when she wanders off the path and Sandcastles is in no way bad, but in the company it travels with, it becomes a paranthesis at its best and it’s not so beliveable when this brilliant vocalist cracks. Also, oddly enough, the collaboration with The Weeknd, 6 Inch is actually one of the least interesting moments on this otherwise brilliant album. I’m even onboard with the country song imbedded with New Orleans-horns, Daddy Lessons, even if it’s musically is so far off from the rest, but its lyrics are so alligned with the theme of the album, that it works.
Freedon! Freedom! I can’t move, Freedom, cut me loose!
Regardless of it being her or someone else’s lyrics, she has embodied the words and she’s never been as genuine and true as she is on Lemonade. Out of fury comes catharsis, out of pain comes beauty.
My Daddy Alabama, Momma Louisana, you mix that negro with that Creole makes a Texas bama