The change is radical to say the least. On the cover ofLemonade, her previous album, which sold 3 million copies, Beyoncé posed aside, face concealed, as though deep in thought. For Renaissance, she exhibits herself half-naked straddling a translucent nag crossed by sparkling lightning… Obviously, the analyzes of Queen B’s new equestrian passion have multiplied. A nod to Bianca Jagger, who arrived one evening at the legendary Studio 54 on horseback? Or a tribute to Lady Godiva, medieval heroine immortalized by the painter John Collier, whose story goes that she would have crossed the city of Coventry naked on a horse to demand a reduction in taxes. Who knows… From the music videoApeshitfilmed at the Louvre Museum with her husband, Jay-Z , we know how much the icon likes to nourish his legend in contact with a certain European classicism.
Ode to letting go
Beyoncé therefore signs her big comeback after six years of absence. An event, even if the 40-year-old pop star hasn’t been idle in the meantime: an album with Jay-Z (Everything Is Love) followed by a world tour, the soundtrack of Lion King, a documentary for Netflix, a song to support the Black Lives Matter movement… Carefully orchestrated according to a very ” top secret “the output of RenaissanceFriday, nevertheless experienced a small hitch with a series of supposed leaks, following the premature putting on the shelves of the disc in certain French supermarkets.
A quack that should not fundamentally change the destiny of this opus designed to conquer dance floors around the world after two years of pandemic. “Its composition allowed me to find a space of escape in a scary time, explained Beyoncé on her social networks, followed by 270 million followers on Instagram and 15.5 million on Twitter… My intention was to create a safe, non-judgmental place. A place to scream and break free. »
My intention was to create a safe place, without judgment
In fact, the ex-Destiny’s Child signs a light, sexy and dancing album. An ode to letting go and the black roots of house, this music was born from the ashes of disco and launched by aces of turntables named Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles. The 16 tracks follow one another, most often without transition, as if they were mixed by a DJ in a nightclub. From the third track, the irresistible Alien Superstar, a male voice warns: “Do not attempt to leave the dancefloor” (“don’t try to leave the dance floor”).
The formula is unstoppable: a beat set to the beats of the heart, contagiously grooving basses, funky guitars, hypnotic electro touches… Among the guests, we meet Grace Jones, the king of disco Nile Rodgers (Chic) and Big Freedia , a queer rapper from New Orleans. In great vocal form, Beyoncé sings, raps, whispers, vociferates (sometimes in the same piece) with the ease of off-road divas.
salacious bad girl
She also pays her tribute to Donna Summer with a very personal cover ofI Feel Love (Summer Renaissance)pours into the bloated ego trip (“I am number one, no one in this world thinks like me”), shows herself in love transfixed (Cuff It) or as a salacious bad girl (the torrid Ethics). Proud and indomitable, as she proclaims in church girl (“No one can judge me, I was born free”).
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The Texan, whose aura has long gone beyond the strict framework of music, also knows how to capture societal changes like no one else. In the single Break My Soul, she puts herself in the shoes of an ordinary woman who falls in love, abandons her enslaving job to live her life to the full. On the other side of the Atlantic, the press did not fail to enthrone him as spokesperson for the “great resignation”, the movement that has seen millions of Americans leave their jobs during the Covid crisis. Beyoncé has obviously chosen to keep her job as a world star instead.
Renaissance**, (Columbia/Sony Music)