music review - Of love & betrayal

Lemonade is Beyoncé’s 6th studio album. The 12-track album has elements of a wide range of genres encompassing R&B, pop, hip-hop, blues, rock, soul, funk, country, gospel, and trap. Her experiments with various genres demonstrate her versatility and confidence. The lyrics are personal and confessional. It features guest vocals from James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and Jack White.

“Pray You Catch Me” is a quiet, wistful opener with subtle piano arrangements and subdued strings, before she explodes in “Hold Up”, the song which follows. “Don’t Hurt Yourself” features a growling Jack White and a thundering chorus on the rock track. It includes a sampling of Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks.” In “Sorry,” Beyoncé refers to a cheating lover, singing, ‘He only wants me when I’m not there/He better call Becky with the good hair.’

The track “6 Inch” features The Weeknd. Beyoncé drones about hard-working women. This is perhaps the weakest track in the album, despite over the top production. “Daddy Lessons” has jazzy New Orleans horns blended with country blues. “Love Drought” is a ballad with primal screams. From this point onwards the songs seek healing and reconciliation. While “Sandcastles” is a piano-driven ballad, “Forward” features the haunting vocals of James Blake. “Freedom”, featuring Kendrick Lamar, is a soulful, motivational track.

Lyrically, the song talks about freedom from bondage (‘I break chains all by myself/Won’t let my freedom rot in hell,’ she declares). “All Night” is a happy-ending song of redemption and forgiveness. Beyoncé continues to be at her peak.

Lemonade
Beyoncé
Columbia Records, Rs 799

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