When Life Hands Beyoncé Lemons ...
When Beyoncé teased The Hive with a "Lemonade" trailer, I honestly had no idea what to expect. However, the absolute last thing I expected was a 50 minute visual album, with a surprise album release immediately following - that was filled with song's about infidelity, black feminism and social activism - that then spiraled into a social media frenzy when the alleged "side chick" from the first half of the album outted herself....
Damn Beyoncé, back at it again with the slayage.
I've been trying to stay away from reviews and focus more on the visual aesthetics of my blog, but Lemonade was so visual pleasing and thought provoking I couldn't resist!
I had to work my part time job until 9 last night, so I missed the initial airing on HBO. And honestly speaking, I didn't think Beyoncé could top her last album, so I wasn't in any rush to catch up. I intentionally stayed away from social media so my thoughts wouldn't be influenced. But as I was cooking dinner my GroupMe was poppington, so I decided to see what the big deal was. And of course it was Beyoncé.
All the talk in GroupMe prompted me to listen to the stingy 30 second clips on tidal, and I loved the first half, but wasn't impacted like everyone else. Convinced I missed something, I then logged onto HBOGo (the best invention ever) and watched Lemonade as I ate my dinner - my brightest idea all day.
The harmony in "Pray You Catch Me", paired with the opening visuals immediately grabbed me. It literally put me in tune with how it feels when you first find out your husband has been unfaithful. An emotion most women are all to familiar with. However, the next three songs mimic the "fuck you, I'm the best thing thats ever happened to your sorry ass" stages of grief.
The next set of songs; "6 inch", "Daddy Lessons", and "Love Drought", chronicle the internalization and generalization of her psyche during such an emotionally traumatizing moment. Visuals for these songs included church revivals, women wading in the river and buildings ablaze - images that also tie to feminism and civil rights.
The rest of the album tells the story of a woman who, in the midst of her rage and anger, finds herself still in love and willing to make it work. The album and the visuals tie together her personal story as well as major issues society is facing today - in the most genius depiction imaginable.
The cinematography; angles, panning, location zooming, etc. all added to the feel of the album. And her symbolism and comparison of love and culture are refreshing and necessary. Throughout the visual, Beyoncé doesn't stick to one theme, but instead incorporates different messages throughout to bring viewers a grand image of black girl magic...with a side of lemonade. It is clear that Bey knows exactly what to do when life hands her lemons.