Beyoncé is freer than ever in ‘Renaissance’

Beyoncé is passionate about understanding the history of Black music and its rich, overlooked tradition that expands with each release. She is both a student and a master of the craft. Her important album I am Sasha Fierce made her a transcendent force with a collection of pop hits and poignant ballads, taking up a page in Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s vocal book. In 2011 4Beyoncé manages to combine the retro flair of 1980s R&B with the heartwarming hits of the ’90s, the genre’s golden age. Lemonade leans on black southern and religious symbolism to create a lush rendition of the musical flex that has become her most political work. Presentsinspired by the 2019 remake of Lion King, found the singer taking the back seat to raise the bar for Afrobeats, and that the most in-demand artists were defining its sound. Throughout her career, Beyoncé has promoted the sound of Black people in this country and beyond. Renaissance, the Houston-bred icon’s latest mega-property, adds to that lineage by honoring the dance music genre pioneered by Black women and Negroes while removing the burden of the weight of tenderness that is so often inflicted on black female superstars. She seems freer than ever.

A key ingredient in Beyoncé’s larger-than-life personality and popular cult of Beyoncé, especially among outspoken black women, is that she reached pop dominance without giving in under the pressure of popularity. For more than two decades, she became synonymous with the way society shaped the perfect Black woman, delivering dreams that other Black women could vicariously accept and live on. Although she has just broken the rules of the music industry, she has always followed the rules in her personal life. She did what one would expect of her: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter rose to prominence from a middle-class, God-fearing black family from the South. With the help of her father’s business acumen, she leveraged her childhood vocal talent to succeed in girl groups and eventually stardom. She’s only had a romantic relationship with one person – an equally famous superstar whom she will eventually marry. afterward she had their child. Beyoncé has demonstrated personal and professional excellence while maintaining her cookie cutter image.

“Throughout her career, Beyoncé has promoted the Negro sound in this country and beyond.”

In one Year 2021 Harper’s BAZAAR interview, she says of producing this sterilized version of herself in her youth: “I was the most careful, professional teenager and I grew up really fast. I want to break any stereotypes about Black superstars, whether falling victim to drugs or alcohol or the silly misconception that Black women are angry.” It’s likely a young Beyoncé saw what happened to her ancestors (Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson) as they operated outside the strict confines of what skinned female superstars black can have. But later in the same article, the multi-hyphen expressed her desire to no longer disappoint society’s expectations: “I have paid fees and followed all the rules for decades, so now I have can break rules that need to be broken. My wish in the future is to continue to do all the things that people think I cannot do.” Renaissance was Beyoncé’s great breakthrough in asserting that power.

beyonce's renaissance album

Cover art for Beyoncé’s seventh studio album, Renaissance.

Carljin Jacobs

Beyoncé explores extensively about the sub-branches of dance music and its origins in the album’s 16 tracks. “Alien Superstar,” a Right Said Fred sampling track backed by unique engineering systems that, like you’re stepping into an intergalactic atmosphere, is a tribute to dance culture. Beyoncé alternates between first and second person to empower listeners with the same confidence in herself as she does for herself (“Unique / That’s What You Are/Classic rock crystal stilеttos off the bar / Category: bad bitch, I’m the bar,” she extolled). The dancehall-tinged track “Energy,” featuring Jamaican rapper BEAM, shines through the tough bars about enjoying the fruits of your labor and the supple transition to “Break My Soul“Will make any DJ jealous. (The song was also the most controversial because it featured a sample of Kelis that the cultural innovator acknowledged her for Not agreed—A misstep from Beyoncé and her team.) “Cozy,” produced by Chicago-born DJ Honey Dijon, is a delightful house track that Beyoncé reminds Blacks of their inner strength. .

The song pairs well with a video by Dr. Madison, “Bitch, I’m blackEvoking the same message emphasized in “Cozy”—being Black is all, on the positive side, something to be proud of. But in the 12-minute original video, the Miami native and TV personality admits that while she’s happy to be Black, being black and transgender is often not met with warmth. pressure. Madison’s frustration at not being accepted for whom she was terminated in “Cozy’s” thesis: Black gays deserve immense love, care, and support. It is one of the Renaissance’s many topics. Beyoncé is dedicated to album for her late godmother, Uncle Jonny, who helped shape her formative years and introduced her to the music that inspired the album before dying of complications from HIV. As the singer delved deeper into her dance music scene, she brought artists who had developed its sound and setting with her. Renaissance boasts features, samples and productions from Big Freedia, Moi Renee, Kevin Aviance, Honey Dijon, etc. Renaissance, Black people can feel seen and accepted.

Renaissance ‘Its strength lies not only in its exploration of dance music but in the embrace of the genre’s liberal character. Beyoncé’s smoldering, expansive vocals evoke that liberation. “Church Girl” is a triumphantly passed single, featuring the singer toying with playful jargon (“drop it like a rotten”, “tig ol’bitties”) while calling out to the ladies. saints and sinners “shake that ass” at a faint vocal loop from The Clark Sisters. It’s a mockup of the Detroit gospel giants’ “Center of Thy Will” from their hit 1981 album. You brought the sunshine, showcasing the group’s creative vocals and complex harmonies. Beyoncé mimics the practice with soulful vocals at the beginning of the track before the song quickly transitions to a twerk anthem, removing the duality of holy and secular. The low-tempo “Heated” ends with a ballroom-sounding side story, where she uses onomatopoeia, screams, and mocking lines to express both anger and sass. (“Uncle Jonny sewed my dress / That cheap t-shirt / She looks so messed up”). It’s a messy but thrilling part of the song, where the greatest entertainer alive is completely filled with the club’s exhilarating spirit (The song received backlash for its lyrics). the song has its persuasiveness, but Beyoncé agreed to change them.)

Beyoncé’s dazzling vocal performance culminates on “Virgo’s Groove”. During the six minutes of ethereal funk jam, her vocals floated perfectly as if she were actually skating on the dance floor. Her ability to push herself to the top has kept her track. Syd-produced “Plastic Off the Sofa” is a catchy disco-funk track that ends with piercing commercials that showcase the depth of Beyoncé’s virtuosic vocals.

renaissance beyoncé

Mason Poole

The album’s least exciting moment comes with “Cuff It.” The gentle groove, mixed in ’80s pop bass lines, doesn’t draw on the strength of its notable collaborators — Chic’s Nile Rodgers on guitar and Sheila E on percussion. Their great soundtrack is isolated in the background instead of being drowned out in the core of the song. Elsewhere, the distinctive, cherished voices of Jamaican Grace Jones and the budding men of Afrobeats Tems are reduced to faint verses in the daring “Move” that sounds almost as unrecognizable. However, without those songs, the sequence is too smooth-real Renaissance will be poisoned. And on an album made on the basis of imperfection, mistakes can happen. However, the fun tracks fit the album’s narrative circuit of letting go and feeling free.

Renaissance ends gracefully with “Summer Renaissance”. One of the longer tracks on the album, the song is Beyoncé’s glorious spin on Donna Summer’s 1977 hit “I Feel Love.” She doesn’t just reflect the classic vocal arrangement in the chorus. from the original, but also ends the song with a painful, evangelical call and response that emphasizes Beyoncé’s formal musical training in the Black church. “Summer Renaissance” isn’t the first time she’s interjected with a piece of music from Queen of Disco. In 2003’s “Naughty Girl” she also mimicked similar vocal patterns from “Love to Love You Baby” while displaying its sensual flair. Beyoncé was still unborn when the original was released in 1975 and was only 21 years old when she listened to it, but she approached the song so authoritatively that her sampling is still accepted. considered one of the hottest songs in her catalog.

“The album celebrates and preserves forgotten history and the contributions of prominent vocalists that have been dedicated to the background.”

Both original recordings, along with several other songs, solidified Donna Summer’s legacy not only as a disco leader, but as a pioneering figure in popular music history. However, the future of disco – a genre whose leading faces are black artists – was changed when white rock fans were angry. ferment against its popularity in 1979. Although disco did not enjoy the same commercial success, it never died. It only reappears in underground dance scenes and as house music. This is the beauty of Renaissance. The album honors and preserves the forgotten history and contributions of prominent vocalists that have been devoted to the background. Above Renaissance, they are the main characters. They are the moment. And by embracing that spirit of freedom, Beyoncé welcomes her own liberation and understands that she too will always be the moment.

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