1 Beyoncé: Lemonade

Well… yeah… I mean, come on… yeah!

+84

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The sixth album by Beyoncé is so obviously the best album of 2016 that it’s near offensive to posit the theory that any other could possibly be considered superior

+117

‘Lemonade’ is legitimately one of the greatest records released in my… 29 years of age, of which maybe I was paying properly close attention for 13 (once you take away the times I was either too young or too drunk and suicidal). Both musically, artistically and due to wider cultural impact, few records can seriously compete with this immediate masterpiece

+153

 

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The freaking amazing Don’t Hurt Yourself is the greatest song Mr White- whom I was seriously considering was a completely wasted hack of a man- has put his name to since The White Stripes days. His ‘Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016’ was considered for the list, before the quality of the earlier songs depressed me too much. The song itself is a ethereal glimpse of what music might sound like in 2057, taking influence from the greatest rock and soul music of the past century

 

…and also proof that:

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Jack White’s contribution is lessened in the ‘Lemonade’ visual album, where he is chiefly replaced by an inspiring speech by Malcolm X, which- I hope you agree- is a rather fair trade-off

+164

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I should make it clear that it’s the ‘Lemonade’ visual album that has been mathematically proven to be the year’s best, and it’s that spectacular and important artistic milestone that I’ll be mostly referring to in this review. It is, however, definitely the greatest album musically as well, so seeing as Bon Iver was awarded 4’183 then this astonishing record deserves at least a starting score of

+ 4’184

‘Lemonade’ is also the greatest movie released in 2016

+4’184

A glorious and both artistically challenging and experimental success, ‘Lemonade’ is guaranteed to shock every person who watches it with how legitimately inventive and visionary it is

+143

Little aside: I’m aware that I have barely any friends so the sample size is rather insignificant, but no man I know has bothered to watch the ‘Lemonade’ film (or listen to the record), whereas nearly every woman near my age has experienced its wonder and naturally raves about it. That’s a bit weird, isn’t it? Like, if not a single woman you know had listened to a classic bloke album like ‘Moseley Sholes’ you’d start to imagine there was a genetic disposition, probably to do with their periods

-8

Considering we blokes bleed from our genitals 24 hours a day, I’ve no idea what our excuse is

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I mean, one guy watched it because his fiancée forced him to, but I’m not counting that

 

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It’s quite easily the greatest ‘visual album’, or even movie paired with a music record or starring musicians, ever made

+254

Better than ‘Hard Days Night’, better than ‘The Wall’, better than ‘The Song Remains the Same’, and- yes- better than ‘Purple Rain’

+325

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As a film, it artfully and innovatively tells a well worn story of love, betrayal, anger and redemption/forgiveness, coupled with a soundtrack by one of the greatest records of my (young) life

+174

That brief summary only scratches the surface though: ‘Lemonade’ is a movie of astonishing depth and ambition, that I simply don’t have the time nor talent to properly dissect

+754

“The 65-minute film accompanying the music makes the personal political by visually empowering black women, celebrating Deep Southern culture, and referencing the Black Lives Matter movement, Malcolm X, and Hurricane Katrina. Beyoncé is not just a single woman scorned — she represents a scorned demographic, or as the film directly quotes Malcolm X: “The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” What she said

+387

I initially assumed the writer of that piece was a man, and was just about to write ‘What he said’ before I thought to check. This is the kind of ingrained and subconscious sexism that ‘Lemonade’ will one day be looked upon as an important milestone in countering

+279

 

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Blakey Boy’s latest album, called ‘Staring Sadly at Fatigued Dejection’, or some shit, was considered for the 2016 NE list, but Jesus Christ was it fucking dull! The gorgeous 1:19 Forward here is the perfect amount of Blake I feel it is necessary to experience

 

I relatively recently remembered that the last Beyoncé album- an absolutely bang up the elephant self-titled effort that people mocked me for placing as high as 5th in the 2014 Necessary Evil– was also coupled with a visual album that I’d never bothered to watch (because, never forget, before this landmark release visual albums were always rubbish!) and so decided to seek it out

+43

 

And…

yeah, it’s pretty decent

+1

Compared to ‘Lemonade’ though, both visually, artistically, musically and concept wise it’s astonishing how relatively insignificant it feels. I adored the record at the time of its release, and the collection of music videos for each song is pretty nice, but the evolution of Beyoncé’s output and ambiton from that project to ‘Lemonade’ is nothing short of astonishing

+386

‘Concept’ you say? That reminds me:

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‘Lemonade’ is one of the greatest concept albums ever released

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Right, all you idiots sit down and pay attention, I’m going to lay out an explanation of ‘Lemonade’s concept that I feel is far too watertight to be referred to as a ‘theory

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In 2014, Beyoncé’s sister Solange- whom my brother has confirmed can be a bit of a prick on occasion- was caught on camera angrily going to town on Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z (a man whom, physically at least, may be the all time most inspiring example of someone batting above his league) for reasons we were not privy to.

+12 

It became maybe the biggest news story since Judy Finnigan’s boobs fell out at that awards ceremony*, people were obsessed and intrigued by the possibility of troubles in paradise, and other news was promptly ignored as the whole world instead debated theories on what exactly could have inspired Beyoncé’s sister to- as the kids say- lose her Jenna Marbles on her sister’s husband

+16

 

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*It’s a bit disconcerting that it’s John Leslie who leaps to her rescue, isn’t it? Like, you wonder if such a propensity for leaping at women’s’ bosom might have been his major undoing…

Beyoncé noted the wider world’s fascination, and the tale told on this record is the resulting inspired release

+64

There’s a thing in professional wrestling called a

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, and a ‘work work work work work’ (usually shortened to just ‘work’) is where wrestling fans- these days all entirely aware that what they’re watching is fabricated- are led to believe that an event or statement was actually breaking ‘keyfebe’, completely unplanned and actually real!

+83

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‘Lemonade’ is one of the greatest ‘works’ in music: Beyoncé managing to craft an entirely fictional narrative so beautifully, compellingly and bewitchingly, that the entire world poured extra free advertising on the record, ‘worked’ so amazingly by Beyoncé that roughly 74.8% of all media was concentrated on debating the identity of the entirely fictional ‘Becky with the good hair’

+158

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It’s one of the greatest artistic sleights of hand that has ever been conceived, but Beyoncé is a black woman who used to be in a band that girls like, so the conceptual and artistic achievements of this record will never receive the same plaudits a decent, white, Oxford educated band like Radiohead do

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(did Radiohead go to Oxford? I think it’s fair to assume they did)

 

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And, finally:

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You might not assume it, as I rarely mention Him, but I was a rather big fan of His Royal Badness, and his death affected me like no other

-1999

I’ve had friends and family members die before, but I never really understood the concept of ‘grief’: what was being mourned, exactly? You’re not empathising with the deceased, your sad because you won’t be able to see them again, subconciously perhaps because you were unable to prevent it, and for some reason your sad because you have fond memories of the deceased, as if their death will somehow take those memories away, or perhaps that them dying eliminates any possibility of similar memories being created in the future. I always felt like a fat ginger Spock, as these responses always felt so illogical and unnecessary to me

-6

 

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All of the funerals I’ve been to have been for deaths as a result of old age, which is greeted mainly by an accepted nod of the head, or suicide, which is a complicated act to grieve as it’s the consequence of some mentally troubled person finally being relieved and getting exactly what he or she wants

-2

When He died though, I actually understood real grief for the first time. I owned every Prince album in at least digital form, with 20-30 on actual CD, and He had always been there for as long as I’d had any real and serious interest in music and bought that £7.99 copy of ‘Purple Rain’ from Woolworth’s on Glossop High Street

+17

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I loved listening to even His awful albums (He may well have released more dogshit albums than any great artist in history) as there was always at least one great song, and I even loved listening to his shite songs, as they were still shite Prince songs, and so still possessed some indescribable quality and always comforted me in a strange way

+34

(Wow, that song is… just… awful… But it’s still Prince, so…)

I’m still struggling to come to terms with the loss of such an important and prolific artist, and at least once a fortnight I catch myself wondering when the next (almost inevitably terrible) album by Him is going to come out

-32

That 3rdeyegirl album was amazing though, and promised such great music in the future

+23

 

 

He died on April 21st, Beyoncé released ‘Lemonade’ on April 23rd

+23

Beyoncé isn’t the ‘new Prince’ of course, because they’ll never be another artist like Him. But, considering every human being is a unique mixture of genetics and cultural inspiration, they’ll never be another of any artist: they’ll never be another Zayn Shagik; they’ll never be another Regina Spektor; they’ll never be another Pusha T; they’ll never be another James Blunt; they’ll neither be another Joe Dolce nor his Musical Theatre

You’re going to dies someday, more than likely murdered by someone close to you for reasons that any right thinking court will judge to be justified, and there’ll never be another human like you. I’m going to die, probably relatively soon because of my debilitating disability, and there’ll never be another person like me, leading to a marked decrease in instances of indecent exposure in Waterloo Park

+72

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While His talent was in writing, performing and producing every single note, Beyoncé’s lies more in encouraging and realising the benefits of collaboration, and evidently knowing exactly what the best outside influences are. ‘Lemonade’ isn’t solely Beyoncé’s work, it’s an ingenious mix of samples and collaborations and has a literal scrotum-fill of credited artists. This adds to, rather than subtracts, from Beyoncé’s achievement: whenever the full credit for a track’s conceived glory doesn’t lie solely with Bey, it instead shows how brilliantly she is able to juggle and utilise so many different influences, additions and inclusions

+31

 

‘Lemonade’ is a fantastic group effort, headed and concieved by a woman who is proving herself to be perhaps the age’s most important and significant artist

+376

This review is already almost 2000 words, and there are still so many things I could talk about, but I best stop here with the statement that ‘Lemonade’ is one of the greatest artistic achievements of modern times, and a legitimate reminder of life’s potential and a reason to live

+1

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Metacritic: +92

Length:

Who cares? It’s perfect

+100

Best Lyric: ‘What’s worse, lookin’ jealous or crazy?/Jealous or crazy?/Or like being walked all over lately, walked all over lately/I’d rather be crazy’ +1

Oh, and every time I’ve awarded a ‘Best Lyric’ award it’s been from this album, so that’s why the point was never included in the total, so she gets all those as well:

+83

Number of AMAZING Songs: 6 (+60)

But is EVERYTHING About This Album Amazing?: Yes (+1000)

Total: 13’702

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Phew, Jesus Christ, am I tired. 117 reviews done!! Less than 117 readers, but I don’t care, I’m happy so fuck all of you cunts not reading this! I’m still going to list 2016’s best songs, but give me a week off at least before I reveal that list!

If you’ve actually read this far, I honestly love you and thank you so much for your time

 

14 thoughts on “1 Beyoncé: Lemonade

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