So, if you didn’t already know, you must be living under a rock. Queen Bey, the legend that is, has dropped her new album with a visual twist, and it is bloody insane.
And I couldn’t wait. I needed it in my life so I obviously signed up to Tidal (praying that I remember to cancel my subscription because a student cannot deal with that kind of money going missing). But it was worth it. Soooooo worth it.
Dubbed as “a conceptual project based on every woman’s journey of self knowledge and healing”, its’ brutal honesty literally lets you in to her soul.
First of all, I don’t want to go too much in depth about the visual aspect of the album for those who haven’t yet seen it. It takes you through the emotions of not just losing the person you love, but grievance for that. Exploring the themes of ‘Intuition’, ‘Denial’, ‘Anger’, ‘Apathy’, ‘Emptiness’, ‘Accountability’, ‘Reformation’, ‘Forgiveness’, ‘Resurrection’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Redemption’, it takes you through the side of cheating that we, as a society, somehow are not equipped to understanding.
There is this slack we give women who go back to their cheating partners, the judgement we give those too (I am guilty of this in the past). But aside from that, you feel it. You feel what she feels and you are involved too as she takes you on her journey.
But still, it is so much more than that. It explores themes aside from the chapter titles, it takes you into her past, present and future. It sees the pain, through gripping montages representing the Black Lives Matter movement, most notably through the ‘Freedom’ chapter, featuring the mothers holding the portraits of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and other black men who were killed. But then also the strength, hope and celebration of black women, and men.
Aside from these deep and hollowing visuals, each song has its’ own story. The visual album helps document this and feel the emotion, but on their own, the vocals and melodies are beautiful. There aren’t many words to describe them until listened to yourself. I feel the pure sass of ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’, ‘Hold Up’ ‘Formation’ and ‘Sorry’, reminding me who ‘the fuck’ I am (lol) and the sadness, hope and love in ‘Pray You Catch Me’ and ‘Love Drought’, ‘Sandcastles’ and ‘Freedom’. And individually, they are as powerful as the videos. But she also reminds us that, she too, is human. No matter the celebrity status, the money, she has very raw and very real emotions and a family that she wants to protect, and we seem to forget that, when at the end of the day, these are (or will be) our own priorities too.
When she says she is going to make lemonade, she has set some really high boundaries for what we normal people expected to do in our own bad situations. We can only hope.
But on a serious note, these songs can get you through any circumstance. She has most definitely filtered some well needed confidence into myself just listening to it a few times. But this album will be on repeat for as long as I finally have had enough. Thanks Bey.