Six years later, Queen Bey is reborn.
Beyoncé has released her seventh studio album. Renaissance, on Friday after the announcement of the record in mid-June. A club-nostalgic blend of disco, dancehall and electronic music, the hour-long 16-track album gives fans of the pop superstar bang for their buck.
Renaissancewhich follows Beyoncé’s 2016 studio album. Lemonade, is the first act of the three-part project, according to the singer’s website. This is a departure from the visual style of Beyoncé’s previous two albums, which were accompanied by pre-album short films and music videos.
The album cover, revealed last month, depicts Beyoncé riding a holographic horse wearing sparkling body jewelry.
After recording it for the better part of three years, mostly during the pandemic, Beyoncé told fans that the album was a creative escape for her during difficult times – and that she hopes listening to it will be a liberating experience.
“Making this album gave me the opportunity to dream and find salvation in a terrible time for the world,” the 40-year-old pop star wrote on Instagram in June. “It allowed me to feel free and adventurous at a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment.”
CBC News reveals the highly anticipated issue – collaborators, critiques and all.
Canadian producers on two tracks
In addition to contributions from Drake, NOVA, Skrillex, Pharrell and The-Dream, Renaissance includes hits from artists such as Diana Ross, Robin S. and Grace Jones.
In a statement on her website, Beyoncé thanked her children and husband Jay-Z, whom she called her “muse”.
When the first single of the album BREAK MY SOUL was released at the end of June, fans noted that – between a sample of Robin S.’s 1990 club classic Show me Love The uplifting lyrics were liberating and exhilarating in equal measure.
The rest of the album, equally diverse in sound, is confidently imbued with this mood.
CUFF is a funky disco track in which Beyoncé states that she wants to go “where no one has been” and PAZ VIRGINthe album’s six-minute centerpiece is a rapturous ode to “the love of my life.”
STEP is a delightfully commanding, no-nonsense number that pairs Beyoncé with Grace Jones and Afrobeats artist Thames as SUMMER RENAISSANCE samples from Donna Summer’s 1977 disco hit I feel love.
Album song produced by Drake HEATED, pays tribute to three other prominent Canadian talents: Toronto-based Boi-1da, one of the country’s most prolific producers; as well as Sevn Thomas, who has worked with Rihanna, Travis Scott and Nicki Minaj; and Mississauga’s Neenyo, whose previous work includes songs from Drake, Future and PARTYNEXTDOOR.
Third track ALIEN SUPERSTAR lists Montreal producer Dave Hamelin, whose past collaborators include Jesse Reyez, Gord Downey and The Tragically Hip.
CBC News contacted the four producers but received no response.
“This is not a collaboration. this is theft
One artist says she was not consulted before Beyoncé tried her song.
R&B singer Kelis took to Instagram on Friday to express her disappointment with her 2003 hit. Milk shake was sampled on the album’s fifth track Energy without her permission.
The track was produced by Farrell and Chad Hugo, who, under the pseudonym The Neptunes, have been a production duo since the early 90s.
Farrell and Hugo often worked with Kelis. She says that she and Beyoncé should have asked her permission before using the song.
“I’m blown up too because the level of disrespect and complete ignorance of all three parties involved is astounding,” Kelis wrote on Instagram. “I heard about it just like everyone else. Nothing is always what it seems, some people in this business have no soul, no integrity, and they’ve fooled everyone.”
“This is not a collaboration, this is theft,” Kelis later commented on her post.
Renaissance ran into a small bump in the road two days before the official release when it was leaked online. Many fans refrained from listening and Beyoncé thanked them for sticking to the album’s scheduled release date in a statement on her website.
“I can’t thank you all enough for your love and protection,” she wrote.