Sweet ‘n Sour (Beyoncé, Lemonade review)

At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side. But then I spent so many nights thinking about how you did me wrong, and I grew strong, and I learned how to get along.

I Will Survive is a fantastic song, and while I have no real proof that it inspired the song Survivor, Gloria Gaynor did sing a mashup of the two songs this past January, which I think is proof enough.

Even before this week’s Melodic Monday artist broke out on her own, I knew she was a survivor.

Beyoncé – Lemonade
released April 23, 2016
********* 9/10

beyonce-lemonade-1200x1294

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, better known by her stage name Beyoncé, is an American singer, songwriter, producer and sometimes actress. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of Destiny’s Child, which was managed by her father, Mathew Knowles.

Destiny’s Child eventually took a break though, which saw the release of Beyoncé’s debut album, Dangerously in Love in 2003, and firmly established her as a solo artist and Grammy award winner. That was five solo albums ago though, and now Beyoncé has had Golden Globe nominated film appearances, married rapper Jay Z, came up with an alternate persona in Sasha Fierce, won 24 VMAs and 20 Grammy awards.

Let’s talk about bae, no not Jay Z. I mean Bey, Queen B, Mothe Bee, Sasha Fierce, JuJu.

Despite what the tabloids and internet have been telling you, this album was not about Jay Z, he features in it, whether he wants to or not. This is an incredibly raw and wriggly portrait into the soul of a pop music entity which acts like Adele, Taylor Swift, and Ellie Goulding might get to see some day. Bey says it best herself “who the fuck do you think I is?” somehow making Jack White more venerable and snarly then we’ve seen from him in years.

But there are three other songs that cover the gamut of her feelings on being forced to deal with a broken heart – from middle-fingers-up, feeling crazy, to praying over and over. And we get these tracks right out of the gate via Pray You Catch Me, Hold Up, Don’t Hurt Yourself, and Sorry. As someone who was in a LT relationship at one point (and which ended badly), I can very easily identify with her mourning over wasted love.

However, as the album moves along at a breakneck pace, we get to explore civil rights issues as they exist today, for black woman, in Freedom, which is my favourite track by far. AND there is a country track called Daddy Lessons that has more twang than anything I can think of on the local radio station dedicated to those sounds. But there’s also Formation which is also rather political and important to consider in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Other songs talk about a relationship on the mend in Sandcastles, Forward, and All Night, though I would agree with others in saying that Sandcastles is the weakest link in the chain.

At first I thought the album name was stupid, but upon reviewing it months later, and especially at the recommendation of some much respected cultural gurus, I can see how she was able to to make lemonade out of pretty substantial jar full of lemonades.

 

 

 

Beyoncé probably says it best herself though when she exclaims “I’mma keep running because a winner don’t quit on themselves.” She figured out a way to stay strong and move on even if her album does have a happy ending. I suspect this has a lot to do with her ability to run with whatever life throws her way, just adding another chapter to the book of B.

Tim!

 

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