Beyonce shocked the world with the unexpected release of her self-titled album in December. The album consisted of 14 audio tracks and also a set of videos to go along with the purchase.
Songs on “Beyonce” are personal, uplifting, and very catchy. Each features a different tone and personality of Beyonce that listeners can get a sense of the different sides of her.
The first single “Drunk In Love” describes how she is overwhelmed with love for her partner and explores her sexuality. Beyonce describes sexual encounters that she doesn’t know how to respond to such as when she says “Oh baby, drunk in love we be all night/Last thing I remember is our beautiful bodies grinding up in the club.” The Arabic-style tones, chunky trap beats and repetition makes this song a slow jam that stands out each time its played.
“Pretty Hurts,” the first track on the album, begins with audio that is set at a pageant where Beyonce is presented as “Ms. 3rd Ward.” The song talks about how a person should be happy in their own skin and let happiness guide their life. Beyonce’s vocals make this anthem something girls can look to for empowerment, especially as see belts “Pretty hurts” each time the chorus sinks in.
“‘Yonce/Partition” starts off with Beyonce call-and-responding “Hey Mrs. Carter” and then a solid bass line begins. The lyrics are rap-like and sung as if it were one. The song then transforms to the track “Partition” with its snaps and quick, pulsing bassline. Each line helps embrace the idea of a woman exploring her sexuality rather than being seen as a sexual object. This song is one of the best songs on the album, with its dynamic nature of vocals and instrumentation.
“XO” begins with a sample from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. The love ballad focuses on Beyonce’s low register and highlights how wide her range is. In the chorus, there is a crowd echo to make listeners feel like they are a part of the song. This song focuses on how someone feels as they fall in love and the emotions attached to it.
“***Flawless” is a trap hip hop track that was developed around the speech “We should all be feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The song begins with archived audio from when Beyonce appeared on Star Search with the group Girl’s Tyme. Its intricate use of techno beats and simple variation in vocals makes it a dominating feminist anthem.
The last track of Beyonce’s self-titled album “Blue” actually features her daughter laughing and talking. The soft-spoken ballad showcases Beyonce’s vocals and the passion she portrays in her voice. This song provides a more caring tone to complete her dominate, dynamic album of passion and confidence.
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org