On July 29th, 2022, Beyoncé released her 7th studio album, “Renaissance,” onto the world.
Before the album’s release, the lead single, “Break My Soul,” gave fans a taste of what the album could potentially sound like.
Though I was a fan of the single’s sampling of 90’s house classic “Show Me Love” by Robin S. and Beyoncé’s angelic vocals, nothing could prepare me for the large-scale energy the album would have.
Dedicated to her late Uncle Johnny, among others in her family, this album takes a well-rounded deep dive into black dance music culture.
From nights at the disco with “Cuff It” and “Virgo’s Groove” to voguing (or noguing for those who aren’t skilled in the art, as coined by Leiomy Maldonado) to “Pure/Honey” and “Cozy.”
This album celebrates Black and queer joy and expression through music that most drives the culture.
The first 5 seconds of the album’s opening track, “I’m That Girl,” immediately transported me to what felt like the world’s largest dance party. Each song builds on this as they seamlessly transition into each other, where a 4-minute song feels like a 36-minute dance session.
Beyoncé’s last solo effort, Lemonade, was an album about her healing process and recovery into the woman she is. This album celebrates the woman she is and the black queer community through dance music, which is commonly overlooked—featuring pioneers of the genre and culture like Kevin Aviance, Moi Renee, Kevin JZ and Nile Rogers, amongst other contributors. This almost escapist album feels like the cementing of her timelessness in the music culture.
I know amongst my friends and the majority of the internet, I haven’t been able to escape the catchiness of the album as it’s still on constant repeat on my phone.
This constant playing of the album probably led to its eventual #1 debut on various music charts, including the “Billboard Top 200” Albums chart, selling 332,000 copies in its first week.
The album’s lead single also rose to the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 100 following the album’s release, amongst other charts.
With Beyoncé teasing visuals for the album on the horizon and the potential for a tour for the album coming soon, the Renaissance period is far from over.
I know with whatever comes, I will be locked in to see what the mother of the house of Renaissance has up her sleeves to secure her tens.