Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’: Review Revue
Once again, Beyoncé has dropped an ultra-ambitious, top-secret visual album, and once again she brought the pop culture world and Music Twitter to a standstill. And, even though it happened just three days ago, once again the glowing reviews are pouring in.
In our track-by-track review of her sixth album, we posited that “Lemonade is simultaneously the most experimental and restrained album of Queen Bey’s career. It’s an emotionally gripping snapshot of music’s very own Wonder Woman at her most confident and bold.”
But that’s just our take. See what the rest of the critics are saying below.
:: Pitchfork awarded it a Best New Music with an 8.5, writing “Lemonade speaks to her status as the hip-hop pop star—but this being Bey, she doesn’t stop there. Via the album’s highly specific samples and features by artists like Jack White and James Blake, Lemonade proves Beyoncé to also be a new kind of post-genre pop star…Lemonade is a stunning album, one that sees her exploring sounds she never has before. It also voices a rarely seen concept, that of the album-length ode to infidelity. Even stranger, it doesn’t double as an album-length ode to breaking up.”
:: Rolling Stone handed out a perfect 5 stars. “What does it mean for Beyoncé to drop a new surprise album on the world within days of a giant like Prince leaving us? It’s a welcome reminder that giants still walk among us…She lives up to every inch of that superhero status on Lemonade.”
:: Vulture concludes, “As much as it is a document of a woman’s fight to pull a crumbling family back together, Lemonade is also the story of black womanhood shining under duress, and the unbreakable resolve of the black family. Visually, it revels in the strength and beauty of black women, mothers, daughters, friends, and superstars, even as the album burns through its wronged woman’s righteous contempt to find her craving reconciliation. Lemonade’s more than just a breakup album or the stream of images of black empowerment accompanying it. The grit here lies in the dizzying balance, the multifaceted depth of the message being delivered.”
:: The AV Club graded it an A-. “All over Lemonade, Beyoncé is describing her own personal reality, on her terms and informed by her worldview. That the album simultaneously pushes mainstream music into smarter, deeper places is simply a reminder of why she remains pop’s queen.”
:: The New York Times‘ review lauds the star’s newfound relatability. “She is a star whose world is vastly different from that of her listeners. But in matters of the heart, with their complications and paradoxes, Beyoncé joins all of us.”
:: Across the pond, NME scored it a 4/5 in their track-by-track review.
:: Pretty Much Amazing handed out an A+ (apparently their first since Channel Orange), laying on some seriously heavy praise: “Lemonade is a career-defining record, like Thriller, Purple Rain, and Like A Prayer were for the pop giants of the 1980s. Time will tell how it endures, but no other pop singer has delivered an album worthy of being spoken in the same breath as that holy trinity until now.”