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Art & Entertainment, Music

Renaissance, Indeed

ProfessorGorgeous founding_member

Senior Content Editor, GoodFeed | Comedian and Creator based in NYC

Beyoncé releases Act I of her triple-album, Renaissance

It's so good, it's so good, it's so good, it's so good, it's soooooo good.

I first knew there was an album coming when I visited her Instagram to see if there was any new Ivy Park information.

What I saw instead was shocking – nothing.

Nothing there! A complete reset. A quiet and powerful move intended to slowly-but-surely rattle the Beyhive in waves until just about everyone, fan or not, was thrust into a fit of speculation.

Are we due for a new album?

It seemed certain, and it only took a few days to confirm.

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter deleted the contents of her instagram on June 9th, announced the (TRIPLE) album officially on June 16th, and exactly 43 days later we woke up to Act 1 of Renaissance: her 7th studio album, and the first of hers to be released in 6 years. I’ve rarely cared enough about album releases recently to feel compelled to mark the date on my calendar, but this time I did.

It was difficult to fight the urge to listen upon the strike of midnight. I’ve been starving for the album of the summer and truly hoping this would be it. As a dedicated Kendrick Lamar fan, I eagerly awaited his latest release: Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers (which also followed a long wait by fans). On the midnight of his release I will admit I took a quick listen to the first track and almost immediately stopped myself from proceeding. I opted instead to listen while running errands in the morning, straight through on my best headphones – the way God herself intended!

And it was… fine.

Honestly, it was excellent, but it was heavy. By my own selfishness I was yearning for the impact and energy of Damn– to carry me through the summer in a way only Lamar could, however I realized that he was in a darker place than I had been able to recognize. This was his album to come clean, to vent, to interject. It’s solid, and it grew on me over time, especially as I was able to empathize with what I presumed his mental state was during the time of writing and recording. Sometimes people expect an artist to perform or create a certain kind of work but instead the work that appears is what needs to be manifested. It’s ultimately unbecoming of an audience to really expect anything but honesty and integrity from an artist. Anything short of that would come across disingenuously and just plain boring.

Still, I was missing my bangers. It’s pretty hard to get drunk to We Cry Together.

Thirsty for the soundtrack to my Demon Era I welcomed Act I of Renaissance with open arms and chaos in my heart. Upon the late-June release of the album’s single “Break My Soul” it seemed to have thrown the world into a frenzy, causing people to quit their jobs in response to Beyoncé’s call to action. It’s pretty remarkable that her cultural impact can remain so strong after 6 years of near-absence, but hey, all hail Queen B.

Break My Soul didn’t do it for me, neither did the rest of the album at first pass. It took a deeper and more focused listen to fully appreciate the production. Did Bey deliver the bangers? She did. Does it seem like a bit of a queer-bait? I hesitate to offer that diagnosis emphatically but there's something in the water with which I’m not entirely jiving. Still, I’m taking the swim.

Maybe my main issue is that I’m missing the grit and flavor of Lemonade. We must however recall that the 2016 album came during a time of great anger for Beyoncé; the betrayal by her husband fueled the singer by giving her the proverbial lemons required for this recipe. As for the video album? We all drank it up.

This time we are not getting a video album, much to my chagrin. Nor are we getting quite the same level of heat – yet.

Now, things are getting “Heated” after fans realized that Beyoncé (in her song of the same smoldering title) used the same word that caused Lizzo to pull her recent release, Grrrls, offline completely and quickly re-release the tune without it. The word, which one could argue is having a renaissance of its own (I feel as if it’s been 20 years since the ’s’ word had a home in the common vernacular, but I digress), turns out to be an ableist slur of great offensive weight in Europe. Hopefully fans can see past the misjudgment of these otherwise well-meaning pop icons and we can all calm down before Acts II and III of Renaissance is released.

Regardless of where you lie on the aforementioned issue or what you think of Act I, it’s clear that we are in for a ride. I predict that what we’re hearing this round is the bouquet of top notes in what I expect to be a comprehensive collection of material that confronts the social and political state of the union. If there’s anything we can bank on, it’s that Beyoncé will continue to deliver the dance-worthy tunes, but not without checking your vibe so hard that you consider changing your own name. In essence, it’s so good, it’s so good, it’s so good, it’s so good, it’s sooooooo goooooood – but this is just the Bey-ginning.

#Good_Review, #Beyonce, #Renaissance, #Good_Music, #Act_I, #Culture, #Act_1