When Life Gives You a Cheating Husband, Make Lemonade
by Cate Robertson on Friday, May 13th, 2016
On the night of April 23rd, the world waited with bated breath for the airing of Beyoncé’s mysterious HBO special. Little did her fans know, Queen Bee’s special would include a hour-long movie chronicling her husband Jay-Z’s speculated infidelity as well as the release of a new album. This new album, Lemonade, became available on Tidal that same night and on iTunes the next day. All twelve tracks on the album charted on the Billboard Top 100.
Since its release, Lemonade has sold more than half a million copies and also rose to number one on the charts — before getting bumped to number two by Drake’s newest album, that is. The highest ranked single from the album is “Formation”, currently sitting at number two. The song was Beyoncé’s first single off the album, and she sang it during her Super Bowl performance this year.
In addition, “Formation” is the final track on the album and wraps up the story that the rest of the album tells about Jay-Z’s supposed affair. In that way, the album has forced Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s relationship into the spotlight and prompted a passionate debate about whether or not Jay-Z was actually unfaithful to his wife. Even on the Milton campus, students are involved in th debate. Buddy Mrowka (II) stated that “It’s all fake” when asked if Beyoncé was telling the truth in her songs attacking Jay-Z.
Aside from the controversy about its honesty, Lemonade was generally well received by the public. Many people think that the album simply proved Queen Bee’s inability to make bad music. She combined many musical styles and also collaborated with many hot artists, including Jack White, The Weeknd, James Blake, and Kendrick Lamar.
However, because the album varies incredibly from one track to the next, some songs were inevitably more popular than others. For example, the song “Daddy Lessons” uses a country guitar line to tell the story of Beyoncé’s own father’s cheating on her mother. And although this story was crucial to the flow of the album, the song was not as musically interesting as many of the other more complex ones on the album.
Furthermore, Lemonade has been receiving somewhat unusual publicity. The media has been focusing less on the quality of Beyoncé’s music and, instead, delving into how her music gives insight into her real life. In other words, the general public seems more interested in who “Becky with the good hair” is than who influenced the sound of Beyoncé’s music.
In the end, though, the saying that “any press is good press” rings true for Beyoncé. No matter what people are saying about her album, they’re buzzing about it. Everyone is wondering about the status of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s relationship and anxious to find out more about it. So, if I have gotten you interested, keep the buzz going and buy Lemonade; it remains available for streaming on Tidal and for purchase on both Tidal and iTunes.
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