On Friday, Beyoncé released her seventh solo album, Act I: Renaissance, six years after the smash hit Lemonade. She gave fans and critics a taste of her latest work when she released this last month Surprise single “Break My Soul”. (He debuted in the Top 10 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart on Billboard.)
The iconic performer drives a famously narrow ship, with a carefully curated image and studio presence. And yet, “Renaissance” was leaked two days ahead of its scheduled release this week, leading to it a flood of headlines that spoiled the premiere. Of course, leaked content is in the music industry not a new thing. But this (little) mess shows how even Beyoncé could lose control in our present moment. And in the end, we could relate more to that lack of control than to their songs themselves.
This (little) mess shows how even Beyoncé could lose control in our present moment.
Beyoncé writes that her new album represents a creative awakening and personal evolution emerging from the darkness and isolation of 2020’s lockdown. she says she dreamed of an escape “to feel free and adventurous when little else was moving.” And she’s betting that the rest of us will feel the same existential longing and ultimately rejuvenation and reinvention.
In any case, it seems like the pandemic and the lockdown have triggered a wave of personal reflection, especially in terms of what we value, who we want to spend our time with, and the role of money and work in our everyday lives. This feeling arguably culminated in the Great Resignation, as millions of people quit their jobs in hopes that they would not only survive but also thrive creatively, professionally, and emotionally. Beyoncé’s single “Break My Soul” seems to capture that feeling.
It also seems about two years too late.
In fact, maybe overly optimistic after an early wave Highlight media reports those who, like Beyoncé, appear to have been able to start new businesses or more flexible work experiences, others have now expressed regret at leaving work without a proper plan or alternative in a society where so much of our quality of life and our well-being -being is attributed to gainful employment. It’s no surprise that some refer to “Break My Soul” as “unmusical.”
It’s also not surprising that Beyoncé has enjoyed a personal renaissance in recent years, while so many of us are feeling more insecure than ever personally and professionally. “Renaissance” reflects the “Only good vibes” Mood from a few years ago. Now articles are being published about what this kind of setting can actually look like become toxic when denied more complex experiences and emotions. Americans have long been unrelentingly optimistic – an interesting side effect of our national exceptionalism. This album capitalizes on that quality, but it’s a sentiment that feels increasingly scarce as our political rights and environment deteriorate.
Public frustration runs deep. A majority of the population has repeatedly expressed their opinion Support for female procreation Rights, stricter gun laws and more action on climate change. Our collective inability to advance more humane and socially progressive public policies has left us in a state of social backwardness rather than a state of renaissance.
This just isn’t quite the taste of cultural reawakening that we desperately need right now.
In this climate, music about the feelgood and dreamy escapes of the super-rich is hard to get excited about — though we’re less critical of Beyoncé’s fame and meteoric success than the late bell hooks. Beyoncé could be a musical genius, as evidenced by unexpected collaborations like working with Grace Jones on the track “Move”. She mixes and samples across genresand you sheer determination is convincing. But that just isn’t quite the taste of cultural reawakening that we desperately need right now.
Because here’s the thing about renaissances: they refer to collective Change and social transformation, not personal private developments. The Italian Renaissance was not only about the great works and achievements of figures like Leonardo da Vinci or Galileo Galileo, but above all about a definitive break with older traditional ways of thinking and the organization of society. Closer to home, few would pin the Harlem Renaissance on the shoulders of a single person, even the formidable Langston Hughes or Zora Neal Hurston. no, the Harlem Renaissance It was about a fundamental reorganization of everyday life and social space, boldly centered on black life. In order not just to dream, but to sustain enduring personal development, we need broader social transformations and protections that allow for that greater personal expression.
Yes, we need good vibes and good music, but we also need better socio-economic plans so we don’t brood when those escape dreams don’t quite materialize. Beyoncé’s personal renaissance may well inspire her biggest fans. Perhaps it also provides a catchy soundtrack for the rest of us as we propel ourselves, each other, and our social institutions towards a brighter future.
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/new-beyonce-album-renaissance-hard-sell-pre-2022-recession-rcna40733 Beyoncé’s new album ‘Renaissance’ is hard to sell ahead of the 2022 recession