Monday, April 25, 2016

Day 4 | Lemonade (visual album) x Beyonce


source. LA Times : Parkwood Entertainment
It took a while for me to think of words that would justify the listen/watch experience of Beyonce's latest album release, Lemonade. There are so many things to love about this bold, ambitious piece of work; so many meaningful layers that conveyed so loudly the emotional journey of a black woman. It wasn't merely a tell-all of infidelity and betrayal in her own relationship, but an outstanding soundtrack to what every woman goes through, the cycles she becomes apart of, as well as the ones she creates/re-creates for herself. 

Watching the video for "Formation" exclusively on Tidal, the day before performing it live for the first time at SuperBowl 2016 was just the beginning of this daring dive into black womanhood. Two months later, Bey takes the world by storm and Lemonade is presented to on a silver platter as an HBO special premier. Here we have a lyrical story line broken down into 11 chapters (intuition, denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, accountability, reformation, forgiveness, resurrection, hope, and lastly, redemption). The layout of the track list essentially sets the tone for the compilation, accented by spoken word poetry on the from Warsan Shire in between tracks. Adding that poetic touch to the visual aspect, she was able to capture the essence of every song and simultaneously found yet another way to make the artistic intention loud and clear.

The creativity and production behind this album is what makes it as outstanding as it is. Content aside, the music aspect is incredible. The endless, heavy bass-lines, the instrumentation, the combination of psychedelic funk, classic R&B, NOLA bounce, are all executed so flawlessly, it's hard to even notice how many genres are represented, simply because it's all rooted in African excellence. Collaborations with artist like James Blake, Diplo, Jack White, and Kendrick Lamar also played significant roles on this project to bring out different sounds. My only issue is that 12 tracks just feels way like there's much to be desired by the conclusion...or maybe I'm just greedy. A part of me hopes there is more to come as a deluxe edition on the physical copy, so I guess we'll just have to see.

Favorite tracks: All Night, Love Drought, Sorry, and Don't Hurt Yourself (ft. Jack White)

The controversy and cultural conversations that surrounded Formation and this album were overwhelming, to say the least, and somewhat expected, however, I couldn't be more proud of the activism that lies in Beyonce's overall message with #BLACKGIRLMAGIC written all over it. She has made such a profound impact the music industry with her career alone, but now, has absolutely changed the way we digest music. 

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