On her latest album, “Renaissance,” Beyonce makes an urgent call to dance
The highly anticipated album “Renaissance,” a house-tinged dance record ready for its summer needle drop, was released on Friday by Beyonce, the paradigm-shifting music princess whose work has long established her as one of entertainment’s key performers.
Beyonce‘s seventh solo studio album is a throbbing, sweaty compilation of club tunes intended to liberate a world gripped by boredom, six years after she rocked the culture with her dramatic visual album “Lemonade.”
The 16-song album is set to rule the season because it is eminently danceable and filled with allusions to disco and EDM history — Queen Bey interpolates Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, James Brown, and the iconic synth line from “Show Me Love,” the 1990s house blockbuster by Robin S.
Beyonce had already released “Break My Soul” to critical acclaim before releasing her opus, laying the stage for her house revival that celebrated the Black, LGBT, and working-class artists and communities who helped shape the electronic dance genre, which originated in Chicago in the 1980s.
In a project that she claimed she recorded over the course of three years during the pandemic, the megastar has revealed that “Renaissance” is only the first act of three.
“Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world,” Beyonce wrote on her website.
“It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving,” she continued by saying. “My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking.”
“A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration.”
Lengthy listening experience
The regular stream of glossy, carefully edited photographs of herself that have become Beyonce’s trademark over the past ten years served as a teaser for the album “Renaissance” in the weeks leading up to its release.
Beyonce released her most recent album without any accompanying videos, despite being widely praised for keeping the field of music videos innovative.
The musician “decided to lead without images allowing listeners the opportunity to be boundless in their expansive listening experience,” according to a statement from her label Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records.
The rhythmic, urgent call to the dance floor on “Renaissance,” which features a tapestry of influences honoring the forefathers of funk, soul, rap, house, and disco, stands out despite Beyonce’s soaring vocals.
She sings on “Alien Superstar,” which samples Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” in a musical ode to voguing, the stylized house dance that sprang from the Black LGBTQ ballroom culture of the 1960s, “Unique / That’s what you are / Stilettos knocking vintage crystal off the bar.”
The National Black Theatre in Harlem was created by Barbara Ann Teer, whose speech is sampled in the song’s coda.
Beyonce adds an obvious sex hymn to her album with “Virgo’s Groove,” giving a tribute to her star sign as the Virgo turns 41 this September 4th.
Beyonce’s “Renaissance” collaborators include Nile Rodgers, Skrillex, Nigerian singer Tems, Grace Jones, Pharrell, and, of course, her rap mogul husband Jay-Z. The song also features a few deep house tracks and homage to gospel, funk, and soul.
Album leaks, Beyhive stings
Beyonce has consistently defied expectations in the music industry and is credited with making the surprise album release popular.
Later, she created a stir by first airing “Lemonade” on cable television and restricted its online access. This ground-breaking work recounted her personal emotional catharsis following adultery in a generational and racial context.
She has now released “Lemonade,” a live album and movie with footage from her legendary Coachella 2018 performance, as well as the highly praised song “Black Parade,” which was released in the midst of widespread protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.
With 28 wins, the megastar, who first rose to stardom as a member of Destiny’s Child, became the most decorated performer at the Grammy Awards thanks to the song.
Beyonce has undisputedly occupied a throne in the pantheon of music, yet despite this, her songs have not enjoyed the same financial supremacy as those of other modern worldwide singers. Her last number one solo success was 2008’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”
With “Renaissance,” that is about to change.
Queen Bey returned to the music industry with the release of the album, utilizing pre-sales, a lead single drop, a tracklist, and polished social media fodder.
But there was a snag: the album leaked online in the days before its formal release.
When her hive finally arrived late on Friday, Bey complimented them for their patience and said, “I appreciate you for calling out anyone who was trying to sneak into the club early.”
The megastar addressed her audience, “We are going to take our time and Enjoy the music. “I deeply love you.”