- 29 Jul 22
Fans and critics alike agree this album lives up to the hype, although there is a bit of controversy in regards to one song credit in particular.
Beyoncé's re-emergence following six-year-old Lemonade is Renaissance: an album that has been making headlines daily since it was announced over a month ago. The singer made the dance-heavy project during the pandemic, writing on her website, "it allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving."
She gave a special thanks to many family members, including her Uncle Jonny who introduced her to a lot of music and culture that she is inspired by. Sadly, her uncle passed away from AIDS when Beyonce was young, having helped raise her and younger sister Solange as a child. She also thanked the "pioneers who originate culture," and "fallen angels who's contributions have gone unrecognised", deservedly shouting out the LGBTQIA+ community.
Here is a special message from Beyoncé. #RENAISSANCE
Dedicated to her children, her husband, her family, her Godmother Uncle Johnny, and to the LGBTQ+ community and all of the pioneers who originated the culture and the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized. pic.twitter.com/hm6Om9fi52
— BEYLEGION is COZY (@BeyLegion) July 28, 2022
The reception for the album has been overwhelming. The anticipation has been high after six years of silence from Queen Bey. Although the album was leaked two days before the official release, many avoided listening and encouraged others to do the same. Beyoncé wrote to thank her fans for their "love and protection," and for "calling out anyone that was trying to sneak into the club early."
— BEYONCÉ (@Beyonce) July 29, 2022
The album is getting an enormous amount of attention, and with some controversy. It is trending No.1 in music on Twitter, and hit No.1 on the charts in 67 countries in under an hour. Many are comparing this release with her past albums, and saying her seventh album Renaissance is her best work yet.
im gonna say it: #RENAISSANCE is her best album. better than lemonade. better than the self titled. better than anything she has put out
the album is a journey: the transitions, the lyrics, the personality this album has. she is experimenting with her voice more than ever. AOTY.
— j (@attitudebey) July 28, 2022
Others are pointing out the artist's growth and development over the course of her seventh studio albums in the past two decades. Renaissance is being praised for Beyoncé's experimentation with the dance-pop genre, and its seamless transitions.
My favorite quality of Beyoncé’s artistry is that it’s always progressively moving forward! All 7 solo albums are dramatically different. Any time she found a pocket that found major success, she never allowed herself to get stuck there. No looking back!
— JIGGAMAN. (@imtoomuchnigga) July 29, 2022
Beyonce and these tender ass fall off the bone transitions.. pic.twitter.com/GkY2xtD1qm
— THIQUE (@ScottieBeam) July 29, 2022
Fans and critics alike agree this album lives up to the hype, although there is a bit of controversy with the song credits. The track 'Energy' features an interpolation of Kelis' 'Milkshake'. Kelis has spoken out to say that she did not know her melody was going to be used, and was not credited on the song. She commented on this, calling it "theft" and "disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved." Later she shared an Instagram post claiming "I'm coming for what's mine and I want reparations." Pharrell especially is facing the heat, having been called out publicly for taking ownership of Kelis' masters from when she was signed to his label with The Neptunes.
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Another artist surprised by their feature in Renaissance was Robin S. 'Break My Soul' samples 'Show Me Love', also leaving Robin S. uncredited (although the original songwriters are credited). Robin S., however, thanked Beyoncé and said she was "honoured" to have her song sampled.
Other collaborators on the album include her husband Jay-Z, Drake, Pharrell Williams, Honey Dijon, Syd, Big Freedia and more. Big Freedia tweeted, "I'm so honoured to be apart of this special moment."
It feels surreal to be on the track with the Queen Beyonce once again I’m so honored to be apart of this special moment I’m forever grateful lord 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾❤️❤️❤️❤️🔥🔥🔥🔥someone please catch me 🤩 #beyonce #bigfreedia #BreakMySoul pic.twitter.com/AL8jn5lX6J
— Big Freedia 💋 (@bigfreedia) June 21, 2022
This is only the first act of a three act project, so it is clear Beyoncé will not cease being a topic of conversation anytime soon. Hot Press' Pat Carty said it best in his review of the album: "Even writing about her is pointless. It’s Beyoncé’s universe; the rest of us just happen to be taking up space in it."
Read Carty's review in full here.