LEMONADE Visual Album
The last week or so has been a doozy in the world of music! Sadly, the world lost Prince and then shortly after the entire world, or at least what seemed like it, was held captive by the Lemonade visual album aka #LEMONADE.
If you don’t know all the details, dramas and delights from Beyoncé’s visual album, Lemonade, that premiered on HBO then I’ll do a quick rundown for you.
- Beyoncé teases some major surprise event being debuted on HBO
- HBO gives everyone free access for the entire weekend
- Beyoncé presents her visual album – Lemonade
- All social media turns its attention to the hidden messages, analogies, metaphors, riddles, hints, clues that seem to allude to cheating and a marital rift between Bey and Jay.
- During the film, Beyoncé says “you better call Becky with the good hair” leading to a firestorm of crazed Beyhive fans trying to find out who the alleged “Becky” was that Jay-Z supposedly cheated on her with.
- Beyhive fans zero in on designer Rachel Roy who had previously been linked to Jay-Z rumors. Rachel posts an Instagram photo that same night with “good hair” in the caption that seems to call herself out. Fans viciously attack. Kind of like what I mentioned last week.
- Fans also attack celebrity chef Rachel Ray in the confusion.
- Rachel Roy makes her account private. Media outlets lose their mind over the drama.
- The dust settles and fans and music charts alike seem to declare this album and the accompanying film a masterpiece. The individual songs and the album itself tops the charts along with albums from, the late, Prince.
That’s the condensed version. Let’s turn away from the drama and to the work itself. Check out the trailer below to get an idea of what the lemonade visual album entails. It’s much, much more than that and much deeper than that but unfortunately, the videos aren’t individually available.
Why should you care about the Lemonade visual album?
With the passing of Prince, and Bowie before him and Whitney and Michael not too long before that it seems as though some force somewhere is clearing the decks. A lot of those iconic names in music have gone on to, hopefully, greener pastures and a musical void is developing.
I like fun pointless songs as much as the next person. You don’t always want to be bombarded with philosophy when you turn on the radio but I think that there are far more meaningless sounds nowadays than there are songs with real emotion and purpose.
I think it might be a smidge early to place Beyoncé next to someone like Micheal Jackson but there is no denying that her trajectory is headed in that way whether people like it or not.
Beyoncé is someone who causes controversy by simply existing. I won’t go into all of the reasons why she causes a stir because that would dip into history, politics, sociology, psychology etc. and like I said earlier, we’d be here all day. Still, no matter what you say about her she is someone with real talent.
You might not like all her songs, you might not like how she presents herself and you might not like her tight-lipped stance on issues but you can’t take her talent and that incredible voice away.
Full disclosure, I am not a card-carrying member of the Beyhive. I was lucky enough to be able to see her for free last September at the Global Citizen Festival and I still don’t know how I pulled that off. After seeing her live I walked away with a greater appreciation for her music and her prowess as an entertainer but I still wouldn’t have included myself among her tribe.
After I watched the Lemonade visual album and after listening to the album on its own for a few days I have to say that I’ve seen the light. I’ve been converted to the church of Bey and there is no going back!
The Visual Album
It’s hard to say what this album is exactly about because none of us know Beyoncé personally and although it does seem like she’s talking about the issues that have gone on in her own relationship we can’t be certain.
To me, this album is ultimately about deep relationships within your family and with your partner. It’s about how the past impacts the present and the future. It touches on how you shouldn’t let your pride and ego prevent your happiness. It’s about forgiveness and it’s told through the lens of the black female experience.
Stylistically this album sounds very different from her past work. You can tell that she stretched herself as an artist, shared more of herself than ever before and experimented with different sounds.
If you look at the song credits, or if you’re familiar with indie music and just listen to certain tracks, you’ll see the various influences that wouldn’t have been on earlier Beyoncé album.
This album features Jack White, and songs with writing influences from the Yeah Yeah Yeah, Ezra Koenig from the Vampire Weekend, Diplo, Father John Misty, James Blake, Kevin Garrett (who you’ll see in an upcoming post) as well as usual suspects like The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar and more! You can see the full list here.
There is so much to absorb in the film that I’m sure someone could write a dissertation on it. If you get the opportunity to check it out, or if you’ve seen it, let me know what you think! From the blend of indie, rock, pop and hip-hop to the artful imagery and thoughtful exposition I’m sure you won’t be disappointed! In the meantime let’s dive into some older Bey tracks!
All of them . . . not kidding. Some faves listed below.
Hold Up || Don’t Hurt Yourself (ft. Jack White) || 6 inch (ft. The Weeknd)
Love Drought || Sandcastles || Freedom
BONUS: I mentioned Prince in last weeks post but he’s certainly worth another mention and this interesting video is worth a watch. R.I.P. Prince.
What do you think of the Lemonade visual album? Will you be at Beyoncé’s Formation tour? Do you know “Becky?” (haha I had to)