I don’t want to put my muddy “think piece” foot prints all over Lemonade so soon after its release for two reasons:
- It’s a fucking masterpiece and,
- It’s not about me.
But, beyond seeing so many wonderful black women relish in having such a masterful pop cultural product centre on their lives and their happiness, there is one thing about the album that’s bringing me infinite joy and, for once in my career as a music writer, it’s actually about the music. So, in the interests of maintaining my facade, I’m going to write it down, but I promise to be as short about it as possible so you can get back to just soaking in all Lemonade has to offer.
This is such a diverse album – from the Caribbean jam of ‘Hold Up’ to the pared down beat of ‘Formation’, Beyonce conquers a multitude of genres easily. However, the two that caught my ear immediately were ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ – a shredding ball of sound and fury featuring Jack White – and ‘Daddy Lessons’, an easy country anthem complete with “yeehaw!” and meandering horn section.
Country music and rock and roll are genres rooted in black artistry but both have been co-opted by white men for so long that they’ve become practically hostile spaces for any black person, let alone black women. Enter Beyonce, striding confidently across soundscapes, reclaiming both spaces for black womanhood. Even better, in ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’, she has Jack White, beloved by annoying male rock nerds everywhere, playing alongside her while she effortlessly outstrips any performance he’s ever given.
What a blessing! So yeah, aside from generally loving Lemonade in all its glory, I love it for its genre-fuck. And like a spoiled child, I want more of it.