Lemonade by Beyonce
Her royal highness has made yet another triumph. American singer Beyonce is a sensation throughout the globe with chart topping hits such as “Crazy in Love” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”. Now she may be known for her glamour and killer dance moves, but there is something that makes this artist stand out above the rest. Much of her music incorporates social and moral messages no matter how big or small that are occurring today. In one song she could be singing about how she can be better lover than her boyfriend if she were a boy and then sing about appearance in the media in another. Recently, Beyonce surprised her fans with a new album following a TV special. Now Beyonce can serenade music lovers with Lemonade which is nothing short of the iconic work that she has created.
From the start, Lemonade proves that it is more than just an album. It’s a journey of self-discovery and coming to terms with the good and bad that can occur in life. There is something for every listener with its variety of genres ranging from pop and rock to hip hop and soul funk and of course it’s messages about love, strength, and fighting hate. It opens with the song “Pray You Catch Me,” which is the perfect start to such a powerful album. “Pray You Catch Me,” has Beyonce realizing that her husband is cheating on her. As the truth unravels, she quietly begs that her husband catches her finding out so that he realizes that she is hurt by his actions.Her aching voice echoing against the piano chords can easily make one feel sorry for her. This song is then followed by “Hold Up”. This has a bit of a more optimistic beat as Beyonce is now trying through rap-singing to convince her lover to stay and to not surrender to the fame and seduction. He has a wife and he still has the responsibility to be loyal to her.
It’s with next two songs “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and “Sorry” that have Beyonce make up her mind about the incident. In “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” she proves that the queen herself shall long live. Even though she is a woman, she still has just as much power as her man. She threatens that he is messing with the wrong person and goes as far as saying “Get a bigger smile on my face, being alone”. She and collaborator Jack White warn that he better watch out or he will be the one to suffer the consequences. Then in “Sorry,” she makes it clear that no matter what he tries to do, she won’t be accepting any apologies and even points out “Now you say you’re sorry/Now you want to call me crying/Now you gotta see me wilding/Now I’m the one who’s lying/And I don’t feel bad about it”. She will go party with her girlfriends and live life however she wants to while he can spend as much time as he wants with the infamous Becky With the Good Hair.
The album then changes gears a bit with “6 Inch”. At first it seems as if the woman Beyonce and collaborator The Weeknd are singing about is manipulative and dangerous due to the track’s dark theme. However, if one listens closely then they’ll realize the woman is just giving it her all to get to the top and is not afraid to show it off. This is an anthem for working women everywhere. The six inch heels that the woman is wearing are really a symbol of well-deserved wealth and power. Perhaps the next song “Daddy Lessons,” provides a background for that strength. In Beyonce’s first foray into country music, she tells the story of how her father taught her how to stand up for herself and fight even when facing a man who treats her badly. Going back to the previous songs on the album, this scenario sounds a bit familiar. It sounds like all of the lessons that her father gave her were definitely worth it and have since paid off.
So with that revenge in her mind, she goes back to her relationship problems with “Love Drought”. She specifies about the number of trust issues that have occurred but she also realizes that he is trying his best to make the relationship work “Ten times out of nine, I know you’re lying/But nine times outta ten I know you’re trying”. It’s a clear struggle when one knows that people make mistakes but it also means that there will be missed opportunities for a true, faithful love. The love runs out just like when a drought starts to occur. However with “Sandcastles,”Beyonce’s raw yet hopeful vocals reflect the mess that has been made but also how she is finally able to forgive because her husband is now willing to listen to her. They can now continue to keep the vows that made with their marriage and rebuild their love just like how someone can make another sandcastle after a tide destroys it. With that, she goes into the song “Forward”. It’s a short yet sweet collaboration with James Blake as Beyonce is now ready to move on from what happened and continue to have family come before fame. The lyrics in this song include “Now we’re going to hold doors open for a while/Now we can be open for a while” which have a more forgiving tone in contrast to the similar lyrics in “Sorry”.
As the album concludes, Beyonce starts to once again celebrate not just her own strength but also the strength of women. In the case of “Freedom,” it’s about women of color. She and collaborator Kendrick Lamar sing about trying to find freedom especially amidst recent shootings. However, this song also represents Beyonce breaking free from her tumultuous relationship that nearly the entire album built up before this point. She especially reveals her resilience with the line “A winner don’t quit on themselves”. She then shows her support for others going through romantic heartbreak with “All Night”. This mid-tempo love ballad lets Beyonce give her listeners the wise advice that true love is when the romance can continue despite all of the obstacles on the road. Finally Beyonce goes out with a bang with the song “Formation”. She summarizes her background and that no matter what others say, she will always be her own star. This song can even reach out to others including people of color. Everyone needs to stay true to themselves no matter how much discrimination and hate occurs.
This is without a doubt a fantastic album with a bittersweet journey. Now why call the album Lemonade? Well the idea for the title came from none other than Hattie White, her husband Jay-Z’s grandmother. At the end of “Freedom,” there is a voice-over from Hattie who was giving a speech at her 90th birthday party. In the voice-over she says “I had my ups and downs, but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade”. This one moment perfectly explains the title of the album as well as the inspiration for the stories told throughout. Lemonade is a musical masterpiece. Beyonce is able to say to others that she doesn’t have the perfect life. In fact nobody does. There will be pain and disappointment but you have to keep pushing through in order to succeed. This is a must for allBeyonce fans and any music lover in general. This album is likely to be remembered for years to come.