Home Music ‘Renaissance’ Review: America Has a Problem and Beyoncé Ain’t It

‘Renaissance’ Review: America Has a Problem and Beyoncé Ain’t It

by Jersey Lady

Too much, this is life.too heavy, too uncertain, too chronically upheaval, too belligerent, too sick, too sensing of error. Over the past few years, the word “instability” has been used by American activists and academia. This leads to the idea of ​​danger, omission, contingency and risk. Basic: worry. When: we worry you don’t worry enoughLike I said: it’s too much.

If I were a world-famous musician and every blink of an eye could be looked up for meaning, now is the time to mean something else: to look light, to float, to bob, to splash, to writhe, to grind. It may be time to discover what it feels like to mean , Sashay Shante, etc. Finding ‘new salvation’ by building ‘my foundation’.

If I Was That Musician, It Might Be Time To Call My Freestyle Jam ‘America has a problem’ Don’t tell me what the problem is A) Psychological! B) What do you not know yet? And he C) knows that anyone actually playing this song, “that booty does what it wants.” Now is the time to put your body to work instead of losing your mind. “America” ​​is one of Beyoncé’s closing tracks on “Renaissance,” his seventh solo studio album. Now is the time to tell yourself — “Tell everyone,” as she sings on her first single. “Break My Soul” — no discourse without disco.

What a good time this is. All 16 tracks were recorded in nightclubs, strip clubs, ballrooms, basements, TatooineMost of them are either imbued with black queer bravado or done entirely. And with almost every song, Beyoncé sounds like she’s experiencing something personally new and personally glorious: unmitigated ecstasy. Clearly bliss. But also sexy severity. On this album, exercising control is as much fun as exorcising stress.

As expensive as the “Renaissance” sound is, when it comes to production (one song is credited to 20 authors, including samples and interpolations), Beyoncé’s singing here transcends any price tag. Her vocal range approaches the galaxy. Her imagination driving it qualifies as a movie. She cooes, growls, growls, doubles and triples herself. Perfect ratio of butter, mustard, foie gras, icing and cupcake.

About halfway through, something called “Plastic Off the Sofa” arrives. Part of me cried now because she didn’t bother to sing. Plastic from the sofa? Got you again! The song she performs is a rhapsody-long, Olympic-level wave of emission that seems to emanate from somewhere far beyond the human throat, so the rest of me cried: the sea ? oven? However, this is one of her few songs recorded with live instruments. (The plastic of the music protrudes from the album couch.) The bassline swells, bends, and blooms until it oozes out of the flower bed. So does Beyoncé’s voice. Surf the swell. It smells like roses. “Renaissance” turns into gospel here and there—in “Church Girl,” most brazenly. It’s the only one that sounds like it was recorded in Eden.

It takes a minute or so before all the “Renaissance” ecstasy kicks in. First, it’s followed by a mission statement (“I’m That Girl”) in which Beyoncé warns her love is her drug. “Cozy,” then, is an in-production anthem about a black woman luxuriating in her skin. It has a bottom as heavy as a cast-iron skillet, and a bounce that the Richter Scale couldn’t ignore. The first true exhalation is “Cuff It,” a roller-skating jam lifted aloft by Nile Rodgers’ signature guitar flutter, while a fleet of horns delivers the afterburns. wants to go out and have a good time that can’t be printed. I Sober.

A lot of comedy. Thanks to Big Freedia and Ts Madison for sampled contributions. ‘Dark skin, light skin, beige’ — Madison rants about ‘Cozy’ — ‘fluorescence beige. “Thanks to the tabloid TV keyboard explosion of ‘America has a problem. But it doesn’t get much funnier than Beyoncé herself here. Just the severity she applies to the word “no” in “America” ​​would suffice. But on “Move” she mimics Grace Jones’ arrogance, with the two of her bowing elbows sharply ordering Pleves to “part like the Red Sea” when the Queen comes along. There is a dancehall inflection. (I won’t go into who the Queen is in that scenario here.) Pop music has been influenced by Jones for 45 years, and it’s one of the few mainstream endorsements of her rich musical prowess. She’s one. There’s also Beyoncé’s vamp at the end of “Heated,” which she recites to the sound of an unfurled fan.it is one of them round table freestyle It goes down with some balls. Some of her include:yeahCle Jonny made my dress / that cheap spandex / and she looks like a mess.

It’s an album with a big house theme. And the feeling of that home is huge. Mansion music. “Renaissance” borders on pop’s history of pulsing and beating. Its muscles are larger, its limbs are more flexible, and its ego is firm. I haven’t heard any market concerns. Its sense of adventure is off the map of the genre, yet very cognizant of all coordinates. These songs test this music and praise its capacity and flexibility. Maybe that’s why I like “Break My Soul”. Track 6, but it feels like the backbone of the album’s theme. There is kindness, determination and ideas in it. Beyonce mediates her two different approaches to church.

In “Pure/Honey,” Beyoncé bursts through wall after wall until she finds herself in a room with all her cousins. 2013 Sizzler “Blow.” that is, drag artist moy rennie Yell, “Miss honey? Miss honey!” And it’s close to of the B-52 Just like a Beyoncé song might come. (But Kate, Cindy, Fred, Keith: call her anyway!)

The album’s embrace of house unequivocally aligns Beyoncé with queer black people rather than, say, trap. On the one hand, that means she’s just an elite pop star with a particularly ardent support. It is directed to a specific history. The complex symbiosis between cis women and gay men is one of them. The spoof and tribute door rotates with centrifugal force.

In Beyoncé’s case, her drag seems liberating rather than obfuscating. Her music doesn’t just absorb lesser-known gay and transgender artists and personalities. is another artist. On “Blow,” Beyoncé wondered how her partner feels when he makes love to her. how you feel aboutthe last song on the album “Summer Renaissance” It opens with a slam of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.” This isn’t the first time she’s cited La Donna. But that’s not the only nod. if the reference is explicit. It’s in the album’s rich middle, containing that couch song and “Virgo’s Groove.” It’s probably the sweetest track Beyoncé has ever recorded. So Renaissance is an album about performance. Other pop pasts, but ultimately an album about the performance of Beyoncé, now a 40-year-old star.

The album title has another history. One hundred years ago, there was too much going on for black people in America — lynchings, “race riots” across the country — and fleeing from South to North seemed like a healthy alternative to murder. In Harlem, Alan Locke, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Aaron Douglas, and Jessie Fawcett are as flirtatious, party-loving, and as some in this piece to pick five figures. I was at the center of an explosion of vulgar art… albums. The artist is gay, straight, and anything in between. Point is, they also called it the Renaissance. It has maintained and provided joy and provocation in spite of the perils around it, and has given home-seekers something close to home.New salvation, old foundations.

beyonce
“Renaissance”
(Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia)

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