Fans and Critics Respond to One of the Year’s Most Anticipated Albums, Beyoncé’s Renaissance

It’s been a wild ride for the musician since his last album, Lemonade, went gold. It’s been six years since Beyonce released a solo studio album, but her latest effort, Renaissance, has received a rousing reception from fans and reviewers alike, as well as some skepticism. A 16-track dance album including high-profile collaborators from across genres like Drake, Skrillex, and Grace Jones, Beyoncé revealed in a statement posted to her website the day before the album’s release that Renaissance is a prelude to a trilogy.

The 28-time Grammy-winning musician remarked, “This three-act project was recorded over three years throughout the epidemic. “My goal was to establish a comfortable environment for everyone.” A location where no one is judged. A safe haven from the pressures of perfection and overanalysis. In a place where you can yell, scream, and feel free. Additionally, she paid tribute to her “beautiful husband and muse” Jay Z and her family, along with her late uncle Jonny, who Beyonce referred to as her “godmother and the first person who exposed me to a lot of music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album” in the statement she made.

It’s a “soundtrack for a wild summer of mayhem and delight,” as the four-star Guardian review put it, with references to Afrobeat, Jersey Club, and New Jack Swing, among the many other styles represented on the album. A celebration of living abundantly and beyond the expectations of others, as described by Tara Joshi in her essay. With the inclusion of Big Freedia and Honey Dijon, Beyoncé’s selection of collaborators is complimented by Rolling Stone: “Her vast palette highlights how the best parties merge ethnic and gender identities, sexual orientations, and aesthetic tastes in harmonious ways that belie our tormented and frequently racist public dialogue.”

Fans and critics respond to one of the year's most anticipated albums, Beyoncé's Renaissance
Fans and critics respond to one of the year’s most anticipated albums, Beyoncé’s Renaissance

“I’m very proud to be a part of this beautiful occasion,” Big Freedia wrote in a tweet in June, referring to Beyonce’s collaboration with him. There was an abnormally long wait between the release of Beyoncé’s self-titled album in 2013 and the critically acclaimed visual album Lemonade in 2016 when it was released as a surprise. Prior to the six-week promotion of Renaissance, which included last month’s lead single, Break My Soul, it was widely considered to be the “anthem of the Great Resignation” with its call to arms to “leave ya job.”

Somebody Leaked, And There was Some Debate

However, there have been some issues with the release. In spite of her legion of Beyhive supporters (collectively known as the Beyhive) instantly calling for listeners to “follow her wishes,” it was released two days early. In a statement released at the official moment of Renaissance’s release, Beyoncé acknowledged her fans. Thank you all so much for the love and protection you have shown me,” she stated in her final words. “Thank you for catching everyone trying to get into the club early,” one patron said.

Many songs, ranging from Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” to Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy,” are sampled on the CD. In particular, a song called “Energy,” which includes “an interpolation” of Kelis’ “Milkshake,” has gotten a lot of attention because of Neptune’s composition credits.  According to a fan account this week, Energy will feature a Kelis sample. “I heard about this the same way everyone else did,” Kelis said in response. “Nothing is ever quite what it appears to be.”

Recommendation for Beyoncé: Renaissance: a joyful soundtrack for a hot girl’s summer. The more you read, the better. Neptunes’ early collaborators “blatantly lied to and misled” Kelis in a 2020 Guardian interview, claiming that she “earned nothing from sales of her first two albums” as a result. According to Hugo’s Vulture interview earlier this year, “I learned about her sentiment towards that.” I’m sorry, but I can’t deal with that. To assist with such tasks, I frequently enlist the services of business professionals.

Kelis went on to say that the problem was broader than Beyoncé, but that “from one artist to another, you should have the courtesy and the common sense to reach out… no matter how much you want to do it. Beyoncé’s team has been contacted by The Guardian for comment. When asked about Beyoncé’s use of her track Show Me Love in Break My Soul, house musician Robin S said she had no idea until the song was released, but she was happy to learn about it. Robin S’s track Show Me Love is sampled in the song.

She expressed her gratitude to Beyoncé in a June interview with Good Morning Britain, saying, “Thank you very much for giving me my flowers while I’m still alive,” before revealing that her son had told her she was trending. It’s an honor.

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