Lemonade is as refreshing as the title may mislead. This album isn’t tart nor is it bittersweet, but rather than trying its hand on a balancing act on the back of a palm, this album holds its pedestal on the near flattened palm. It quenches that musical Beyoncé thirst, and the intimacy spread on its surface is as refreshing as a mastered album.
Lemonade has a big cohesive story that bodies the empowering female thematic we’ve come to hear from her in previous tracks like “We Run the World,” “Irreplaceable” or “Upgrade U.” The latter of which just continues to prove us that we men would feel like shit if we were to tell our significant other that Beyoncé is a definitive upgrade. I mean if she opens with calling Jay-Z nothing without her, you know its business. But in all seriousness, the album has a splendid mix of ballads, hard hip-hop R&B and variations of experiments from Bey. Like “Sandcastles,” or the more violent and direct “Marvin’s Room,” a ballad where Beyoncé is straight hating on this bitch she knows Jay-Z had an affair with.
The other side of the power-couple BuzzFeed has made us aspire to be isn’t as perfect as the lists tend to tell you. Turmoil will come to everyone. On the eloquently subtle and yet powerful track “Love Drought,” Beyonce’s ranges her vocals to have us feel a mother, wife and artist who has given it all to the people and her family, but still remain with the usual quarrel any couple, or celebrity couple evidently face. Though Beyoncé is Sasha Fierce and she can overcome a lot.
Lemonade plays like an film from start to finish, with the exception of certain tracks. It’s hard to create a full scope film from an album that jumps far and between its main story so Beyoncé can reaffirm herself as a queen, in a good way. As the album pertains to be primarily a story on loyalty, it extends farther then its initial impact from a first listen. Like the song “6 inch,” which carries a dual perspective of the same subject. As empowering as this album is, when it strays from the story it becomes more characteristic like “6 inch,” or “Daddy Lessons,” a song that comes full circle as a country jig the Beyoncé way, which in turn gives us reason to see Beyoncé as this type of person.
Lemonade isn’t as perfect as you’d want it to be with the back-to-back misses in the tracks “Freedom,” and “Forward.” The former tends to feel more “written” then written with purified intentions, while the latter is too short for excellently crafted vocal layers from the two. And nearing the end, that beautiful duet harmonizing is just as captivating to be disappointed when it ends. “Freedom,” isn’t necessarily a bad track, it’s actually quite excellent, but while other empowering songs keep it to a direct-yet subtle attack, Beyoncé and Kendrick just tell you what you hear everyday. It doesn’t carry the same virtuoso of “Alright,” from Kendrick Lamar’s TPAB.
We’ve all come to admit that Beyoncé and Jay-Z playing off each other is fabulous, but “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” has possibly topped anything the duo has made. Beyoncé and Jack White make a hard hitting and empowering rock anthem. It samples the guitar rifts from “When the Levee Breaks,” ambiguously underlined in the song. It’s a perfectly crafted song you can just see yourself playing if your relationship is opposite “You Belong With Me,” so less stalkerish.
Lemonade keeps you in an ambiance that is sensed in the room of silence. It’s not awkward, it’s emotionally empowering. It’s like if Inside Out was going on in your head during a really messed up situation, and anger teams up with sadness to create different variations of the main emotion. That’s what it’s like to listen to Lemonade. Beyoncé delivers it with enough impact that it sounds whole and a perfectly mixed album by the Bey.