WPGM Recommends: Beyoncé – Renaissance (Album Review)

Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter has peaked. Yes I said it. Beyoncé has returned with a new album titled Renaissance after six long years since the release of her Lemonade album.

Are you ready for this gushing journey we’re about to embark on? Let’s get started.

The album opens with the ferociously multilayered intro track “I’m That Girl”. I knew by the title that Beyoncé is about to make a bold assertion. She begins ranting repeatedly form the get go “Please motherf**kers, please, motherf**ker…”. You get the picture right? Sassiness already. Then the beat slackens a bit, and so does the ranting. Beyonce does this switch so effortlessly.

As the first verse kicks in, she deposits to the theme “I’m That Girl” by dispelling like-undertones, with lyrics such as, “It’s not the diamonds, it’s not the pearls / I’m that girl (I’m that girl) / It’s just that I’m that girl (I’m that girl) / It’s not my man (ooh), it’s not my stance (ooh)”.

Mrs. Knowles-Carter is simply declaring that she’s been that girl. Her being that girl has been an innate quality since birth. No jewellery, money, men, status-quo can rebuke that fact. Don’t we know! I foresee a mood uplifter with this song. The song is multilayered with her adding background vocals to the singing that’s transpiring already.

And the other switch up to the rapping was unexpected but appreciated. It gives me that feeling of a woman knowing she is that girl, but she’s humble about it, but then she’s like “nope screw that”, let me boast about this.

The changeover to the next song “Cozy” is so smooth, with Beyoncé berating about self-love, self-confidence. The song is also referencing the elevator moment between Beyonce, Solange and Jay-Z. Due to how she says, “Confident, damn, she lethal / Might I suggest you don’t fuck with my sis / Cause she comfortable”.

The title and the lazy groovy vibe I am receiving from this song is definitely on ball with the theme. I relish in how she progresses from that “I’m comfortable” lazy singing then boom, she’s awakened with these lyrics, “Been off, been on, been back, what you know about that?

I won’t lie, for a second there, I thought I heard Sasha Fierce peeking out a bit when she finished off with, “been that King Bey energy”. That slight roar after? Definitely Sasha.

I value from what I’m hearing so far on the start of each track. There is command-like pattern. In the first song, she says “Please, motherf**kers ain’t stop,” then the second song she continues, “This a reminder,” now onto our third track she adds, “Please, do not be alarmed, remain calm”. I do acknowledge a queen of sticking to her themes.

The album is now leaping to a club scene. “Alien Superstar” is a club banger. This song is giving me life. The automated voice phrasing, “The DJ booth is conducting a tro-tro-troubleshoot test of the entire system”, the thumping of the beat, and Beyonce affirming these words, “I’m one of one, I’m number one, I’m the only one.”

This is Beyonce’s world. She is inviting us to this intergalactic dimension of hers in this song. She is the alien superstar. Now, alien is usually associated with being unique, uncommon, out-of-this-world. You get the image. The song then adds another layer to it, with another switch-up of Bey singing and the beat smoothing over her voice. It’s the perfect conversion.

I appreciate the repeated “(U-N-I-Q-U-E)” throughout the singing – it’s appealing to the ear. This “classy for this world” hook is a ten out ten. It facilely ties the song together.

Next up on this journey is “Cuff It”. So this is just a typical fun, day-at-the-park over barbeque with the extended family kind of song playing over the sound system. I won’t get too much on it because it gives that vibe completely.

The follow-up track “Energy” features Beam. It offers a disco ambience, from the way it starts to its enviable end. Beam launches into the song with, “On stage, rocking, I’m stir crazy / Coco flow like 1980s / Come let’s tell a drop lazy / None of that maybe”.

Beyonce gets down to tyrannizing as the song starts “Just vibe, double 45. Voting out 45, don’t get outta line”. She is referring to the 45th president of the US – Donald Trump. Beyonce is being ridiculously shady on this beat, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this track becomes a favorite, just for the combined disdain for this man America has.

Think about it. Didn’t Bey literally sponsor the Kamala and Biden race, the day before the actual election? Controversy, thanks Bey. It’s been too quiet in the pop scene. The disco genre influence of uptempos, drum sets are shining through on this song.

“Break My Soul” glides subtly after “Energy”. This smash hit was lead single to act i of Renaissance, with Beyonce sampling Robin S’ “Show Me Love”. “Break My Soul” is a barrier demolisher for mood activations, workout sessions, party starters, conversation ice breakers. Queen Bey has added another powerful song to her catalog of statements.

I firmly agree that people aren’t grasping what Beyonce’s creative approach, with this song, to the album Renaissance is. Sadly, that’s disappointing. Seeing that the term Renaissance basically means a transition from Middle Ages era to Modernity. How can people miss that?

As we carry on this parade, “Church Girl” chimes in with those soulful background vocals. For a minute, it’s a Sunday morning, and I’m prepping for service. Then it hits me, it’s just a December afternoon with family. This song places me there.

The alteration from the slow singing to Beyonce’s chiming is contradictory – in a pleasant way. The whole song is a contradiction. You would assume the message would be the same old empowering good girl-church girl, then Bey drops down, “I’ll drop it like a thottie, drop it like a thottie, I said pop it like a thottie”.

I cackled at that switch up. “Church Girl” is a message from Beyonce for “Church girls” to embrace their freedom and not be subjected to being timid. “Church Girl” is my favorite thus far.

Renaissance passes to “Plastic Off The Sofa”. A song about cheating, infidelity and hurt. Her sweet singing touches a soft spot in me. I can actually feel her emotions. The sweet melody, singing and lyrics are a recollective from her previous songs such as “XO”, “Jealous”, and “Blow”. Another jewel in the crown for me as yet.

“Virgo’s Groove” draws from Disco-Funk elements. It is a feel good song, radiating positivity and joy. This song is sonically perfect. So far it undeniably leaves an unforgettable print.

On “America Has A Problem”, Bey samples Kilo Ali’s “America Has A Problem (Cocaine)”. The original deeply touches on addiction to cocaine. Bey spins the addiction to her husband. In saying that her husband can’t seem to get over her, time and time again.

She says, “Call me when you wanna get hi-i-i-igh / Tony Montana with the racks / Double C’s on my bag, double G’s on my dash / N***a, I’m bad, I’m bad / Tell me when you wanna get hi-i-i-igh”.

Beyonce closes act i with “Summer Renaissance”. She is serenading Jay with this beautiful love song. Bey conspicuously sharing her passionate escapades and urges. It almost feels too intimate. Get a room B!

I wanna house you and make you take my name / I’m gonna spouse you and make you tat your ring / I’m gonna take you all the way / Baby, can I take you all the way?

Beyonce craves to offer her husband the world, security and shelter. It’s brilliant how she sample Donna Summer’s classic disco bop “I Feel Love”. Beyonce intersects her “it’s so good” to Summer’s “I Feel Love”.

The Renaissance album is solely about Beyonce reminding the industry as a whole that she is able to move with the times. Right now, music is evolving at rapid pace. Veterans in the industry are being named “washed-up”, but Queen Bey firmly asserts herself with this album.

She has pushed herself creatively, and took a big risk with infusing house-elements, disco-funk, pop all rolled into one album with a title Renaissance. Only a cocky, confident, talented, bold, Virgo could pull that off, and in the fullness of time did.

Listen to Beyonce’s Renaissance album below and enjoy the full shopping experience here.

Words by Ruby Adele

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