Who produced the Beyonces album in 2013

"Lemonade" from Beyoncé : Confessions of a soul queen

At the end of the almost hour-long film that accompanies her new album, Beyoncé flips through very private recordings: of her daughter Blue Ivy's birthday party, of Blue Ivy and father Jay-Z in an empty football stadium, of their wedding, like hers Mother dances there with son-in-law Jay-Z. The piece begins with jumping guitar chords and lines like “True love never has to hide” or “Our love was stronger than your pride / Beyond your darkness, I'm your light”. With so much affirmation of love and the will to reconcile, who still believes in serious marital problems between the two R&B and hip-hop superstars, in an agonizing war of the roses that has been talked about for months?

Especially since Beyoncé's new album "Lemonade" was released almost overnight on Tidal. Tidal is a streaming service that mainly belongs to her husband Jay-Z (and also some other very successful musicians, including Madonna, Kanye West, Rihanna, Daft Punk, Jack White and Beyoncé). Kanye West and Rihanna also released their latest albums here first, "The Life of Pablo" - available only on Tidal for six weeks - and "Anti" for one week. The strategy behind it is clear: If you want to hear Beyoncé's new work, you have to register with Tidal (the streaming portal only has a tenth of the subscribers to the market leader Spotify) and take out a trial subscription. Or do without Beyoncé. Or illegally download the album.

The film provides the narrative for the pieces

This type of publication policy can be outrageous. Because it is unclear whether and when “Lemonade” will be released on conventional media accessible all over the world. On the other hand, this can be understood as completely normal, clever business conduct of a streaming service co-owner: The motto is to make Tidal strong - and not to support Apple Music or i-Tunes, where Beyoncé's previous album "Beyoncé", which was also released completely without advertising in 2013, is within downloaded over a million times in a week. Which brought iTunes a historic sales record.

One thing is certain: anyone who publishes so spontaneously and unannounced gets the greatest possible public attention for two or three days, especially in the pop superstar league. The overwhelming effect is attracting the media and fans. “Lemonade” is also overwhelming in form and content. As with the 2013 album, on which there was a video for each piece, with little stories from the life of the superstar Queen Bey alias Beyoncé, the singer has not just released twelve new pieces, produced by hip masters of her field such as Diplo, Mike Will Make It or Boots, but rather a film that provides the narrative for the pieces. This is not overly stylistic: the great works of pop, in particular, are able to tell their stories and stories graphically without accompanying films. “Lemonade”, the film, still looks as if you could easily cut out twelve videos from it.

To "Sorry" you can see Beyoncé with tennis player Serena Williams

Nevertheless, "Lemonade" in its capacity as a so-called visual album is a believable mixture of feminist manifesto and personal therapy session, in which Beyoncé reflects on her love misfortune, the pitfalls of love, no matter how "true" it may be. Between the pieces she recites poems by the British-Somali poet Warsan Sire, which, with faded-in headings from “Intuition” to “Anger” and “Apathy” to “Redemption”, form the chapter division of the one-hour educational novel.

Beyoncé can be seen smashing the car window with the baseball bat; you see her singing “Sorry” at a girls-only party with tennis player Serena Williams and sticking out her middle finger (“doesn't see” right, the middle fingers are pixelated, oh America!) And you see her, a mixture of country -Gospel sounds, as a little girl with loved ones, especially with her father. He recommends her to be strong: "Daddy make me fight."

The whole thing is reminiscent of a very private album that Beyoncé opens at all crucial points, from childhood to the malaises of marriage. But the context is bigger, it is that of the battered black woman. "The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman ”, the voice of Malcolm X sounds once. In the ninth chapter“ Resurrection ”women are shown holding the photos of their slain sons, accompanied by the falsetto voice of James Blake:“ It's time to listen, it's time to fight. "

James Blake? Yes, but. Of course, Beyoncé and her producers have invited a few guests, in addition to the almost inevitable Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd, these are the not necessarily expected, because James Blake and Jack White come from different musical contexts (although the owner of Tidal is also is). But the latter in particular should demonstrate, thanks to their dubstep and blues competence, that Beyoncé no longer sees itself musically as just an R&B hit machine, with albums that contain a few hits and otherwise only average goods.

She sings "Freedom" with Kendrick Lamar, and James Blake is there too

"Lemonade" is rather the album of a soul queen who tries herself out, who knows exactly why she pays her homage to Nina Simone in the film by playing an album by the great jazz and blues singer on an old record player.

She relaxes her voice over a piece that is subtly influenced by reggae; then again she tensions herself to the utmost, accompanied only by a piano. She practically worked her way into the dub and bass heavy “Sorry”, only to start singing from her father almost like a country singer. In addition, she has the size to leave the field to James Blake all alone, just like Kendrick Lamar, with whom she sings in the gospel-like “Freedom”: “Freedom! Freedom! I can't move / Freedom, cut me loose .... I break chains all by myself ".

Tradition and modernity, private life and politics, Beyoncé knows how to combine all of these conclusively. Although you know how much calculation there is behind the whole thing, how art and self-marketing are mutually dependent here, most of it sounds genuine, authentic, soulful. You could also say: It is the counterpart to Kendrick Lamar's epoch-making “To Pimp A Butterfly”. The stress in their marriage, if it really existed, did Beyoncé very well, at least artistically.

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