Beyoncé is known for being a consistent artist who never fails to entertain us with her incredible dance choreographies, music and who can forget her astonishing voice of course? As a devoted wife and mother, let’s not forget that Beyoncé has JUST dropped a self-titled, 14 song album with a music video that goes along with each song which has a 10 second preview on iTunes, together with three more exclusive videos that have been unreleased. Remember that this was done without promotion, adverts, warning, countdowns, photo-shoots, or studio hints and whilst several music artists spend several millions doing so, Beyoncé went and did the complete opposite. It doesn’t stop there. She began touring since April 15th 2013, doing 60 shows in Europe, 47 in North America, 7 in South America, 18 in Australia which will end next year March 27th 2014. What more? Oh she also managed to do this, distracting her fans about the 22 day vegan diet. To top it off, when ‘Beyoncé’ was released, it sold over 80,000 albums in the first three hours, probably better than her husband Jay Z’s Magna Carter. Can we FINALLY admit that Beyoncé has set the platform?
After logging onto my Facebook, I received a post on my wall with a friend telling me that I just needed to listen to ‘Bow Down/Flawless’ because it is a “straight up feminist song”. At first, I was quite sceptical because looking at Lilly Allen and her basic track about how hard “bitches” have it; I gave up with all these “feminist” anthems. However, I reluctantly read the lyrics for this song and when I got home I listened to the preview on ITunes immediately. Damn… Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on BEYONCE’s song… I just couldn’t even. This is literally THE anthem of Feminism; Adichie’s small speech on the song captured the foundations of feminism simply, (white feminists take note) However, I’m not one sided, it’s Beyoncé, so I downloaded the whole album and I can put my hands up and say this album demonstrates a unique side of womanhood. This album is life, it’s everything women has been ranting and cursing about for years on Social networking sites. The album includes artists such as Frank Ocean, Jay Z, Drake and the adorable Blue Ivy! Personally I cannot really give an accurate description of every single song on the album because you will find your own interpretations of it which is understandable.
Nevertheless ‘Beyoncé’ brought out signature tracks with representative issues women of colour go through every day in a society where the system favours whiteness. It goes from, sexual liberation without shame (essential for black women) complete motherhood, eating disorders, insecurities and anxieties, distrust in relationships, favourable images of sex workers, feeling safe and secure in marriage. (Something Beyoncé has been called out several times by these White Feminists) to the Western view of beauty.
In every video music video on this album, Beyoncé verified the power of Black Womanhood with immediacy and it matched the themes as explained above representing the diversities of Black Women. What’s so great about this is that Beyoncé does this unapologetically, an intimate call to silence these dominating white critics that has silenced her for years. Lyrically, it isn’t multifaceted but this is customary because her previous tracks are not as complex as I would say Florence and the Machine’s lyrics are. ‘Hurt’, ‘Flawless’ (obviously) and ‘Hunted’ does it for me, the melodies and the beats capture everything Beyoncé works to do. This isn’t an “opera/soul sista” album; however Beyonce is aware of her singing abilities, so it’s good to overlook this.
I don’t know what else to say about this album, its self-acknowledged flaws give us more of a reason to say that ‘Beyoncé’ is perfect in every way. The visuals, the graphics, the sounds and the collaborations gives the illusion that simple but meaningful Pop/RNB music can be creative and that there’s hope for the next generation to come. This is only the beginning.