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Beyoncé – Lemonade

  • Release date: 23 April 2016
  • Label: Parkwood entertainment, Columbia Records

The world’s most well-known celebrity’s album Lemonade is a significant personal statement from the most reputable and inventive pop musician around, as well as a whole work of mental turmoil and marriage breakdown. She effortlessly navigates through heartache, betrayal, infidelity, and the hangover that follows “Drunk in Love” across these tracks. Even with all the anger and suffering in the song, Beyoncé manages to make it seem affirming, like it’s simply another chapter in the gospel about the transformative power of creating a large, loud, bloody mess.

There’s nothing as blissed-out on Lemonade as “XO” or “Countdown” or “Love On Top” – this is the queen in middle-fingers-up mode. When the first four songs on an album add up to “you cheated on me and you will pay,” then there’s a country song about her daddy teaching her to solve her problems with a gun, it’s hard not to believe Mrs. Carter might mean it when she sings about regretting the night she put that ring on it

The songs reflect her genuine feelings about whatever it is she’s going through, and it brings out her wildest, rawest vocals to yet, like when she rasps, “Who the fuck do you think I am? Boy, you’re not married to just any bitch! She has never distinguished between her personal and professional lives, particularly since she was raised in public. However, there’s a clear indication that Jay-Z might be living the hard-knock life these days by the time she tells her spouse, “Suck on my balls, I’ve had enough.”

Lemonade is her most sonically adventurous and emotionally extreme album, featuring everything from the Kendrick Lamar showcase “Freedom” to the country murder tale that struts like buckskin-era early-1970s Cher (“Daddy Lessons”). She also incorporates spoken word snippets from Jay-Z’s grandmother Hattie White, obscure 1960s Mexican garage band Kaleidoscope, indie slop like Father John Misty, Animal Collective, and (with a production credit) Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig. Her guests range from James Blake (“Forward”) to the Weeknd (“6 Inch”). In “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” she goes full rock and roll, making Jack White sound fiercer than he has in a long time. She also samples the John Bonham drum thunder from “When The Levee Breaks.”

Whether Beyoncé likes it or not – and everything about Lemonade suggests she lives for it – she’s the kind of artist whose voice people hear their own stories in, whatever our stories may be. She’s always aspired to superhero status, even from her earliest days in a girl group that was tellingly named Destiny’s Child. (Once upon a time, back in the Nineties, “No No No” was the only Destiny’s Child song in existence – but make no mistake, we could already hear she was Beyoncé.) She lives up to every inch of that superhero status on Lemonade. Like the professional heartbreaker she sings about in “6 Inch,” she murdered everybody and the world was her witness.

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Beyoncé’s Lemonade Tracklist

1. “Pray You Catch Me”
2. “Hold Up”
3. “Don’t Hurt Yourself”
4. “Sorry”
5. “6 Inch”
6. “Daddy Lessons”
7. “Love Drought”
8. “Sandcastles”
9. “Forward”
10. “Freedom”
11. “All Night”
12. “Formation”