BEYONCÉ - act i RENAISSANCE | Page 234 | The Popjustice Forum


Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by Ensnare, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Wishlight, LPT, goldsoundz and 24 others like this.
  2. The way she absolutely melted my brain. All I can think is “these muthafuckas these these muthafuckas aint stopping me” for the past several hours.
    Wishlight, Sam, Stopremix and 5 others like this.
  3. On my second listen today I thought about what a master she is at collecting all these seemingly disparate things together (and I do mean anything, from ideas to musical eras to soundbites of memes) to create something fresh and forward thinking without eschewing the past or losing any of its soul or intention. She began developing this with Lemonade, an album that played like a musical landscape of America, and then HOMECOMING and how it weaved the past century of Black American music into her own catalogue, creating a career retrospective that honoured those who came before her and moving them into the present. I think RENAISSANCE takes the best of both albums (how Lemonade turned the personal into the universal and HOMECOMING's array of Black musical influences) and creates something totally new that's been missing from her work lately - pure joy, escapism and glamour (now that I think about it, Lemonade, HOMECOMING and BLACK IS KING/The Lion King: The Gift are very earthly).

    I saw a review on YouTube that said it's the most forward thinking dance album since Random Access Memories and I'm sure it's at least that - the album plays like a fabulous patchwork of dance music through the ages yet it rarely feels like a throwback or pastiche. I love how prominent Afrobeats are throughout this album - I don't think any other artist has made the connection between Afrobeats and American dance music, whether it's disco or house or whatever people think of as EDM, and I love that for her. By putting them together on this album perhaps she's telling us that Afrobeats is the future of the genre.

    This idea of Beyoncé working in a patchwork collage style on her last few projects made me think of the artist Mickalene Thomas and her collages of Black women, depicted glamorously while surrounded by patterns and textures that range from found scraps of cloth to luxurious looking materials:


    Wishlight, Sam, jvckkk and 13 others like this.
  4. Not a knock on you at all @enhanced CD, and I love Daft Punk, but I’m giggling at anyone saying RAM was “forward thinking” when it made such a huge fuss about going back to the past. A well made record for sure, but it’s funny that it was described in such a way. Renaissance certainly nods to the past and pays tribute to those who have paved the way, but it also spends a lot of time and care bringing that into the future in the way it melds sounds from different eras and cultures, as you mentioned, which I don’t know if I can say about any mainstream dance albums that have come out in the last 20 years, honestly. And even then I’m not sure it has ever been done in such a grand and ambitious way.
    FINISH LINE, Wishlight, Sam and 10 others like this.
  5. Yes god
    goldsoundz likes this.
  6. Sick that this is their highest rated Bey album. Self-titled got an 8.8 and Lemonade had a 8.5.
    Steve003 likes this.
  7. I think only one album in the last 20 years was similar, even if the scope was probably less ambitious to begin with, and that’s Confessions. And I’m not even the biggest Confessions fan but it sounded in 2005 familiar but at the same time “new” and it still sounds fresh to this day.
    Now “Renaissance” production is surely more polished than Confessions but Confessions was made by fewer people and the bulk of it recorded in Price’s apartment so that makes sense. “Renaissance” sounds also “bigger” and as you said the scope of it is clearly more ambitious.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
    Andrew, varjak and Remorque like this.
  8. Whoever said this is like a victory lap retrospective of her career is so right.
  9. The fact that she’s been in the game for this long and continuously outdoing herself… how does she do it?
    FINISH LINE, Dijah., tea and 15 others like this.
  10. God, I fucking love the album. It just sounds so... full.
    Wishlight, Island, Steve003 and 4 others like this.
  11. Blue Ivy encourages all of her clients to push the limit.
    Wishlight, HorseTears, tea and 21 others like this.
    Dijah., tea, boombazookajoe and 6 others like this.
  13. I physically cannot listen to anything other than this. Every time I try I end up right back at Renaissance.
    Dijah., Wishlight, Lapras and 8 others like this.
  14. I don't think I've ever been so obsessed with an album. I haven't listened to anything else since Wednesday Friday.
  15. Oh so we love Pitchfork today.
  16. this is such a beautiful write up! Thankyou for this!!!

    I would also say that she has been working in this patchwork style or gumbo of influences for much longer, but that it was usually relegated to her live performances for a few songs or so. I feel like the evolution of Diva live alone is a great example of how her ear and musical layering has been at the forefront. Or mixing operatics and Arabic scales into her vocal repertoire and combining that with 70s inspired soul and r&b on the early years.

    It may have been Solange who once mentioned that the strength and secret sauce of Beyonce is that she is such a student of the craft who can meticulously study until she makes something her own, or takes seemingly disparate inspirations to create something greater than the sum of its parts. I feel like early on these moments often felt like “oh that’s an interesting and cool choice” and is slowly grew into this massive next level master patchwork of something both nostalgic and visionary.

    I think it wasn’t until 4 that you could really hear the difference musically of her not being afraid to take this sort of musical gumbo to the next level in studio recordings. And from there it just kept growing and growing until it became incredibly masterful with Lemonade onwards.
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