When Life Gives You Lemons, Beyonce Makes Lemonade
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Beyonce has outdone herself yet again with her newest album, Lemonade. Beyonce has covered just about every genre of music at some point in her music career, and none of her albums ever sound the same. Lemonade, however, broke boundaries.
Beyonce is one of the most influential artists of her time. Her fanbase is huge and the love from her fans is undying, and even stronger now with the release of her new surprise album. She first clued us into her new work with the surprise release of her hit single “Formation” at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show. Fans raved as they awaited the drop of her next album.
Beyonce shocked fans once again by not only dropping an album, but dropping a 1-hour film as well. This film illustrates exactly what she is feeling during each of the songs, and much like her albums, each song is different.
If you have only listened to the album, you can feel the surge of emotion put into each song without ever having seen the music videos. The album flows from slow ballads to upbeat rap to moderate R&B to country western. Along with the different genres, there are different instruments and vocal inflections used to emphasize whatever message is being passed on.
For example, in the song “6 Inch,” it is all electronic and autotuned. This song also features The Weeknd, a popular contemporary R&B artist. This song has more of a mellow, but powerful vibe. This section that this song is in is titled “Emptiness,” and the depictions of clubs, sex, and alcohol tend to be typical of this feeling. It matches very nicely with the vibe of the song, the lyrics, and the emotion behind it.
The film beautifully illustrates the inner turmoil that “The Queen” is going through with all of the rumors of her husband’s adulterous relationship. All of the music videos for each song are intertwined with the inner monologue of Beyonce. There are images of violence, nudity, and alcohol, but each is used in a very artistic beautiful way to allow her to explain her feelings so everyone understands how she feels. The quality of the videos and the film as a whole is like nothing I have ever seen.
There are a lot of moments that may be shocking to some viewers because of the content. There are a lot of visuals of fire burning, which could be illustrating the fire inside of her. There also is a whole segment dedicated to drowning. This section is called “Denial” and she remains submerged in water until she finally walks out of her own denial. The image of her drowning in water is a good method to describe the feeling of denial when you know the truth.
When she finally emerges from the water at the beginning of the video for one of the most powerful song and video combination of “Hold Up,” she has finally accepted that she knows the truth. The song itself sounds like a nice love song, as she says, “Hold up, they don’t love you like I love you. Slow down, they don’t love you like I love you,” but she sings as she’s smashing in car windows and destroying a street in a monster truck.
It is one of the most revolutionary ways to present an album of music. Concept albums have existed in history since the Beatles in 1967 when they presented “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” However, this is the first time that any artist has ever presented an album in this sort of manner.
Beyonce takes us all of her journey of anger, grief, acceptance, forgiveness, and hope. Each song is involved in a different section of her journey and all illustrate perfectly how each theme fits into her roller coaster of emotions.
Its eeriness is an extremely powerful concept that she plays with throughout the whole film as well. It has a haunting beauty that hits you deep within. There is a power behind the video, monologue, music, and dance that is so thrilling and unexpected that it’s hard not to enjoy it all.
The main message of it all is finding inner strength behind a really difficult and emotional situation. It is really powerful for everyone, but especially for young women. As we propel forward into our futures, we need to learn for ourselves how to find our inner strength. Beyonce is such a strong platform for this because most young women look up to her and truly listen to her.
In her final monologue, Beyonce says some of the most inspirational words in order to get us all to hear her message. She says, “So we’re gonna heal. We’re gonna start again. You’ve brought the orchestra; synchronized swimmers. You’re the magician. Pull me back together again the way you’ve cut me in half. Make the woman in doubt disappear. Pull the sorrow from between my legs like silk. Knot after knot after knot. The audience applauds…But we can’t hear them”
Beyonce, you’ve done it again.