Beyonce - Lemonade Reviewed.

We might seem a little late off the mark with this review of Beyoncé’s new album Lemonade, but let’s face it, Queen Bey’s hype ain’t going to die off any time soon…

We weren’t going to review it, a pop album with a few collaborations from electronic artists shouldn’t warrant a review, but we’ve had it on repeat since its release. We’ve not shut up talking about it. Something of that calibre easily warrants a review, even if it is just for the collaborations.

The Twitter-sphere blew up when the album was released on Tidal, with the news of two collaborations from golden boy James Blake.

Pray You Catch Me, the opening track, is a stunning piece of production with all of the ethereal sounds that we’re used to from James Blake. I never knew that his production needed pairing with Beyoncé’s voice, but obviously I was wrong. It’s a real need that we never knew about.

Hold Up, the following track, reminds us just how good of a producer Diplo is. It doesn’t have the almost harsh “EDM” levels of his newer productions, but is an almost stripped back version of that distinctive moombahton sound that he perfected with Switch in the early days of Major Lazer. Chilled summer sounds, with some muted air horns in the background. We could get used to this sound from Diplo. With writing contributions thrown in from MNEK, we expect this to be a massive festival hit this summer.

Forward is by far our favourite track on the album, even at only 1:19 in length. James Blake laid down the vocals and production for this one, with a simple piano track and more of those ethereal sounds that we’re so used to hearing paired with his voice. Could we fawn over him any more really? James, you made this album.

While not really related to dance/electronic music, we couldn’t not mention Freedom, with its collaboration from Kendrick Lamar. If there was ever a track that will make you walk with a bounce, as if you’re in Destiny’s Child in the early 2000’s with a bit of Nina Simone-esque attitude thrown in, this track is the one. Modern soulful sounds, backed up by a marching drum band. With production contributions from the legendary Just Blaze who has provided production services to some of hip-hops greatest - from Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Talib Kweli, and of course Jay-Z. This has the mark of a number one all over it.

All Night, again, features Diplo as a producer and contributing backing vocals, with more of those chilled, distinctive Diplo sounds that featured on Hold Up. It’s another achievement of a track, very different to the production of Jack Ü and the sounds produced for Bieber. It may not be a popular opinion, but we do wish Diplo would do more of this without Skrillex…

Sounds really clichéd, but the album has a more mature sound from start to finish, less pop-py, with a more credible hip-hop sound. The new political, opinionated Beyoncé is a hit with us. More of the same please.

Amy Marsden-Wright

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