Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance, the star’s highly anticipated seventh studio release, will not only make you dance but might pull you out of your blogging rut too. That’s exactly what it did for me. So, you can trust that these 16 tracks will be singing through my AirPods for the rest of the summer – and beyond. I want to share why I think this album should be the soundtrack to your summer renaissance, too.
Let me preface this by saying I am a veteran member of the Beyhive – meaning I was a diehard fan long before everyone else jumped on the Queen Bey bandwagon in 2013. (Case in point: In addition to attending On the Run I and II and the Formation Tour, I saw her live during her Destiny’s Child days in 2000 in Birmingham at Heritage Festival! IYKYK)
Because of this, my husband, the man behind the hip-hop and R&B blog Soul In Stereo, says it’s been programmed into my DNA to love anything Beyoncé produces. (I can neither confirm nor deny this.) So, if you want a more objective take on this album, go read his review.
Mrs. Knowles-Carter recently posted a message to fans on her website about the project. She stated that her intention was “to create a safe place, a place without judgment, a place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking, a place to scream, release, feel freedom.”
She goes on to say that she hopes we find joy in this music and that “it inspires you to release the wiggle” and “to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are.”
I don’t know about you but, as for me and my house, this mission was accomplished within the first few tracks. I was dancing around declaring “I’m That Girl” and posing in the mirror to get “Cozy” with my body. You better believe I’ll be playing this self-love anthem at my next brand photo shoot and if you’ve been putting off your photo shoot because you think you need to drop a few pounds first, I hope these tracks help you realize you’re gorgeous as is.
“Alien Superstar” is one of my absolute favorite tracks but this writer is having trouble finding the words to explain why. All I can say is that it had me feeling like I was voguing in outer space with Prince and Vanity 6. And “Cuff It” is the bop every summer playlist was missing.
One thing I continue to admire about Beyoncé is that she’s a true artist. While so many folks are out here just making trendy TikTok tracks, she is still creating ALBUMS. When you hear the way “Energy” perfectly blends into “Break My Soul” or how the multi-mood track “Thique” glides seamlessly into “All Up in Your Mind” you’re reminded that our Queen always delivers a complete package.
“Church Girl” is as soulful as it is ratchet, proving once again that Beyoncé has the power to take us to revival and to the club in the same song. Even when she slows things down for the lovers with tracks like “Plastic Off the Sofa” and “Virgo’s Groove,” Beyoncé doesn’t miss a beat and still stays true to the mood of the project, which is a modern take on the dance sounds of the 70s.
It took a second listen for me to fully appreciate “Move.” Whether you’re strutting to the dance floor with your girls or through the airport for your next girls’ trip, this track – which features the incomparable Grace Jones – will have you feeling cocky fresh. Moreover, I hope it urges you to tell anything standing between you and your writing goals to “move out the way” too.
A Place To Be Free of Perfectionism
A few tracks of the second half of the album don’t sparkle as brilliantly as the ones that open the project. Husbae did a great job explaining why in his review. He states: “Remember what I said about the best songs here being a modernization of the 70s disco sound? Many of the cuts on the second half are way too close to the original mold, feeling a bit too cookie-cutter in the process.”
That said, those later less stellar tracks don’t keep the album from being a strong and cohesive project that sparks the joy we all need right now. And it ends on a high note with the Donna Summer-inspired “Summer Renaissance.”
Renaissance is the first part of a three-album series that will celebrate different genres of music, and this first release – with its homage 70s dance music – also feels like a call to celebrate life.
Renaissance isn’t a perfect project, but art doesn’t need to be perfect to be inspiring. As a writer, this album dares me to try new things and shows me it’s possible to do so and still be true to who I am. And this project reminds me to let go of the need for perfection in my own work and to allow myself to write the things that bring me joy and that make me feel free.
What are your favorite tracks from Beyonce’s Renaissance?