The new Beyoncé album ‘Lemonade’ premiered at No.1 on the ARIA albums chart over the weekend.
It’s got the whole world talking, predominantly due to its suggestive lyrical content. But is it any good?
New auspOp reviewer David checks it out.
So much has already been said about this album and a lot has been around the politics and messages behind the songs (I’m looking at you Jay-Z!). But what about the music? How does it stack up when you take away all the chatter?
Let’s be clear – Beyoncé is making lemonade, people. It’s always amazing to me when an artist is able to channel their emotions, struggles and demons into their work and create something quite visionary.
In addition to the album of tracks, she’s created another cinematic experience for her fans. The imagery is far grittier than on her previous album and the music reflects this.
If we judge ‘Lemonade’ as a pop album, it’s a fair way away from being able to be called “pop”. It’s far more R&B than previous releases, with a lot of songs missing that killer hook that songs like ‘If I Were A Boy’, ‘Halo’, ‘XO’ and ‘Irreplaceable’ had. That being said, it’s a very interesting listen. I also encourage you to try and listen to ‘Lemonade’ without thinking about the cheating rumours circulating.
Of the 12 songs, there are a few highlights for me. Lead single ‘Formation’ is oddly catchy, though not standard radio fare and the hook in ‘Formation’ is criminally under-utilised.
‘Sandcastles’ is a devastatingly beautiful track and is my favourite by far. Its accompanying visual includes Jay-Z and her family and when you hear the song, you can’t help but feel every ounce of Beyoncé’s anguish being released. Beyoncé does raw emotion well.
‘Freedom’ (with Kendrick Lamar) is also a really enjoyable listen. It’s got the same retro vibe as ‘Daddy Lessons’, which feels like empowerment for Beyoncé and for her fans.
My other favourite track is ‘All Night’. It’s probably the most “pop” song on this album and has been beautifully arranged.
There are two songs that I skipped over, as they just grated on my nerves. ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ and ‘6 Inch’ didn’t feel entirely necessary for this album to be complete and have been left off my ‘Lemonade’ playlist.
Another artist who shall remain nameless (*cough* Rihanna *cough*) recently released a new album which felt like a collection of demos, because they were so unfinished.
‘Lemonade’ travels down a similar road, but hits the mark. The rawness of the songs and arrangements is suited to the vision Beyoncé has for this body of work.
MUST LISTEN :Sandcastles, All Night, Formation, Freedom, Daddy Lessons