After premiering her short film ‘Lemonade’ for HBO on Saturday (April 23rd), Beyoncé released her sixth studio album of the same title exclusively to TIDAL and just over 24 hours later, her second consecutive visual album was made available on all digital platforms.
The album, which consists of twelve tracks, is not a typical Beyoncé album and she uses it to expand on the experimenting that took place on its self-titled predecessor, but this time, there is more to the story and she seems to finally lift the veil on her closely guarded marriage to Jay Z by insinuating that he has been unfaithful and that their relationship is far from picture perfect.
On the first line of “Pray You Catch Me”, the album’s opening track, she utters, “You can taste the dishonesty / It's all over your breath”, immediately setting an accusatory tone that continues with the reggae-inspired standout “Hold Up”, the rock-infused follow-up “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, which features Jack White, and the kiss-off anthem “Sorry”.
The latter is a defiant break-up song that sees the singer insisting that she isn’t thinking about her about her cheating spouse, regretting “the night [she] put that ring on” and telling him to “call Becky with the good hair”, while she recalls her daddy turning her into a soldier and warning her about unfaithful guys on the country-twanged “Daddy Lessons”, another highlight that shows that there is no ground or genre that she can’t convincingly tackle.
At this point, a divorce announcement seems all but inevitable from music’s most powerful couple, but the bigger theme of the album is ultimately forgiveness and realizing that marriage (and anything truly worth having) isn’t easy and takes a lot of hard work.
She recognizes that he is trying, but questions his motives (“If I wasn't me, would you still feel me?”) on the airy “Love Drought”, while “Sandcastles” is a sweeping ode to a marriage that has been tested and promises that didn’t come to fruition.
“Show me your scars and I won't walk away”, she sings on the gut-wrenching ballad that features one of her most impressive vocal performances, while on “All Night”, she comes to the conclusion that she isn’t ready to pull the plug on true love.
The Weeknd makes an appearance of the worker’s anthem “6 Inch”, she salutes the strength of black women on the Kendrick Lamar-assisted “Freedom” and the controversial single “Formation”, which has been incorrectly perceived as anti-police, brings the album to a close.
With ‘Lemonade’, her sixth studio album, Beyoncé serves up a sweet recipe of strength, empowerment and the power of forgiveness as she ups the ante with a candid view of an imperfect relationship that actually humanizes herself in a way that we haven’t seen before on what can only be described as her best body of work yet.
4½ OUT OF 5
“Hold Up”, “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, “Sorry”, “Daddy Lessons”, “Sandcastles” & “All Night”
Album Review: Beyoncé Makes Delicious 'Lemonade' Out Of Marital Drama Reviewed by Celebrity Bug on 5/02/2016 Rating: