Lemonade: A Review by Chizzie

Lemonade: A Review by Chizzie

Lemonade is good, so good that when I was contacted via email by PP to write a review on it, regardless of my ever busy schedule these days (coughs), I had to say yes.

Beyoncé has made the progression from what was a ratchet-laced, sexually-overt eponymous album to what is cohesively and lyrically her most solid effort, and I dare say her magnum opus.

To understand and appreciate the album better, you have to watch each track’s corresponding video and monologue. After all, it is a “Visual” album.

Beyoncé effortlessly and in true artistic form switches from incoherent soliloquy to a video that somehow perfectly conveys and matches each track’s lyrical content.

The album opens with Pray You Catch Me, which at first leaves the listener guessing, wondering what it is about. Is this album any good? It’s a subtle but effective effort to captivate the listener’s attention, and as the song ends, it does just that. I haven’t seen the video of this one, but I imagine it would be something abstract, shot in slow motion.

Hold Up follows next, at first sounding a bit nonsensical, but its undeniably catchy chorus, hook and a simple but addictive beat suggests that this might just be a huge summer hit! If anything, its accompanying video will make anyone give the song several listens. It shows Beyoncé emerging from mammy-water splendour of a dream, with a baseball bat, damaging property, a smile on her face and hair for daaaaysss!

Lyrically, Don’t Hurt Yourself is my favourite. It is not your typical Beyoncé song, and on paper, the pairing with Jack White (Who?) seems odd.  But it’s safe to say they both pulled it off. It is the first song that suggests and perhaps confirms cheating allegations from Jay Z’s end.

“… If you try this shit again, you ‘gon lose your wife!” It doesn’t get more obvious than that.

Sorry is the one that had the internet rolling! Who is Becky with the good hair? And at this point, the listener is flabbergasted – firstly, because of the awesomeness of this song, and secondly, because of the shocking allegations of its lyrics. And this suggests more so than ever that Jay Z is a cheater.

Regardless of whatever the lyrics imply, it’s a tactic that has paid off, and one only Beyoncé can pull off.

Its video also features Serena Williams dancing aimlessly while Beyoncé sits and observes in majestic splendour.

6 Inch follows in spitfire fashion; at this point, the listener is convinced that this is indeed a good album.  It is a collaborative effort with The Weeknd, with empowering, quasi-feminist lyrics about a successful career woman. HIT!

Daddy Lessons is another lyrical masterpiece, in my opinion, and is served as what seems like an ode to African American culture, with an old school jazzy vibe, laced with intermittent church-like howls and oohs.

Love Drought requires some amount of effort and patience to listen to it before one picks up a liking for the song, and this is much like Rihanna’s Anti album. At first listen, it sounds like a typical urban contemporary song and this is Lemonade‘s one and only filler track.

Sandcastles is the only ballad on the album. Ballads aren’t exactly Bey’s forte but she surprisingly excels in this. Her voice is heavy with conviction and a genuine honesty, the basic recipe needed to pull off a solid ballad.

Forward should really be an intro to the next track Freedom, or should probably have been left out of the album entirely. James Blake does a faux and unconvincing Ray Charles for a solid minute; not a fan.

Freedom comes in next. It sounds like a protest song, or a song accompanying a documentary on the civil rights movement of the 60s.  Not one of my favourites but worth a few listens.

To me, All Night is the winner! The song seems and feels triumphant. It is a victory song about love winning above all else and seems like such a fitting way to round up an album. Beyoncé sings about second chances and love prevailing, and a beautiful infusion of trumpets and strings gives this song an ethereal feel.

Formation rounds the album off. After the emotional rollercoaster that was the past couple of tracks, Formation seems strategically placed to just dance it all off.

All in all, Lemonade is a good album. Go and buy it on iTunes. Say no to illegal downloads.

Written by Chizzie

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46 Comments

  1. Magdiva
    April 29, 05:22 Reply

    Good job Chizzie. Still don’t like lemonade or Beyoncé. *sips hateorade*

    • Pink Panther
      April 29, 05:23 Reply

      ????????????????????????????????????? Bey for life! Lemonade Rocks! ?

  2. Mandy
    April 29, 05:46 Reply

    I see a country music awards nomination for Bey for that Daddy Lessons track. That was just her Texan side on full blast.

    • Duke
      April 29, 12:01 Reply

      Same thing I said!!!!! That song will win “white people” award. Lol

  3. Mitch
    April 29, 07:32 Reply

    Lawd! If I don’t stream this album on Tidal tonight, I swear I’ll run mad. Even Chizzie likes Lemonade. Uwa agwugonu!

  4. Mitch
    April 29, 07:34 Reply

    Beht wait oh. Chizzie, how come we didn’t see an Anti or This is Acting review from you? Surely, those albums were worth reviewing

    • Delle
      April 29, 11:01 Reply

      This is Acting deserved a review (a positive one btw), but Anti?! *inserts a terrifyingly long hiss and drives off*

      • Mitch
        April 29, 23:42 Reply

        Look at yasef! Anti doesn’t deserve a review? A is for Ewu! Darriz what you are. Nansense!

        • Delle
          April 30, 00:15 Reply

          Rihanna should really try not to follow in the steps of Adele and Beyonce who have formed the habit of keeping us in heated suspense before releasing an album cos she not only made a fool of herself and the music industry…she ANTI-fanned herself with that pile of garbage she calls an Album that should be played only in Somali.
          There you go Mitch, a review. XO

        • Pink Panther
          April 30, 06:10 Reply

          Hahahahahahahahahaa @A is for Ewu. Mitch, you’re a mess.

  5. Kenny
    April 29, 08:00 Reply

    Freedom is very good and it’s catch biko, it’s been receiving massive airplay sef. All night is my best track on the album, her voice slayed as she effortlessly transitioned between her chest voice and her head voice. The album is heading for number one on billboard and there are talks about an Emmy nomination. ?????

  6. posh6666
    April 29, 09:34 Reply

    I luv Sorry so much! The kind of song that should be playing in your head when you see an ex of yours and you are looking all snatched and on fleek!

    Love drought is really cool too and of cos 6inch.Anything with the Weekend in it does it for me.

  7. posh6666
    April 29, 09:37 Reply

    That line in love drought “You are my lifeline and you are trying to kill me” is really deep and thats sum1 stripping off everybit of pride and admiting how much you mean to them.

  8. Peak
    April 29, 10:14 Reply

    Chizzie, I agree to a large extent with ur reviews, and you help confirm what I have always know and said about Beyonce. She is a “visual artist”! The fact that everybody keeps saying you have to the whole movie and video to get into the “Glory” that is lemonade speaks volumes about her artistry. Love it or hate it, she knows what works for her and she is using it to her advantage. Plus she has literally carved out her own lane, set a new standard and way ahead of the pack with her new roll out plan and product delivery.

    With that out of the way, I still have mixed feeling about the album. She get major respect for showing some depth (Finall). With this album, Beyfake went on holiday only to be replace by Beyonce the Human, woman, mother and wife. Mind you, I am not buying all that “throw Jay-Z under the bus and Black lives matter crap”, but you cant help but applaud her for the direction she went with this album.

    Like you said, this is best work thus far. For once, she finally has an album that has a concept. A cohesive and well thought out body of work. Well written, no over the top production, and no ghetto-hoodrat-power-bottom/ratched-baby mama anthems except for that formation song. Vocally, the album was dry. If there is anything I love Bey for, is how she is a vocal beast. Her techniques and the delivery is one of the best right now, but she didn’t deliver this go round which made songs like Forward and Love drought look and sound out of place. I totally disagree with about ballads not being her forte. People just love uptempo people, so she does more of that. We both know she brings down the house with ballads.

    Pray you catch me: I thought “cute” at first listen. Nothing special popped except for the harmonies which reminded me of DC harmonies. After a couple of listens, it grew on me.

    Hold up: I have come to like, but it hasn’t really fitted in. I think I need to see the visuals for a home run with this one

    Sorry; repetitive, chorus sounds like a ghetto child reciting nursery rhymes, but its quite chatchy, pack a lot of attitude and you get to love it after a couple of listens. You would definitely buy into it when you buy into the stories making the rounds and driving the album

    6 inch : NOW this is the song that spoke to me at first listen. Like it was dark, edgy, pack swag by the truck load. I was imaging a dark lit party, smoke in the air, bodies grinding again each other. It had me bopping my head from start to finish. I LOVE this song. The beat, the lyrics, the arrangement, love the message behind the song. Its just club perfection as far as I am concerned. I think she didn’t need The Weekend on the song. She was bad ass all by herself. It make me want to slowly crip walk on it everytime I listen to it.

    Daddy lessons : This right here is one of the most outstanding song on the album, and I dare say her career. She practically threw away her play book and went left field with this one. Like I would have never have thought she would ever go in this direction, talk more of pulling it off. This is a Huge risk and it payed off big time. The writting and message behind the song was powerful.

    Love Drought: Mama sleep de catch me

    Sandcastle : Bey disappointed small here. I get that she was going for stripped down and raw. But I kept waiting for a major vocal climax that never came. I loved and felt it the emotions behind the hoarse grow. Like I got goose bumps around that part. Its not everyday Bey emotes like that. Another beautifully written song.

    Forward : Abeg make una do gimme blanket, una no hear say I wan sleep? This gave just screams frank Ocean try_hard to me.

    Freedom: Biko for the life of me, if Bey de come Naija and the ticket is 100k, I am willing to do home delivery blow jobs so I can pay for it and be in the front row in the stadium stomping out all my rage to this song. In case you don’t know what they call stadium music, this is IT. Abeg this song SLAYS! Another song I got into at first listen. And when Kendricks voice poured all over me, I just knew that this bitch is trying to win me back as a fan and plans on taking my blood if I don’t surrender peacefully. There is something about this song that just makes you want to break free, challenge the norm, stomp out the anger and frustration life has dished you.

    All Night: Can I just say I love this song. I didnt at first listen, but it has grown on me. Its one of the highlight of the album along with 6 inch, Daddy lessons, Freedom. Sand castle

    Formation: **Sigh** honestly I hoped this album didn’t make the cut and was just a buzz single like they said it was suppose to be. A nice bop, but I just wish she would make an album with a Ghetto-hoodrat-power-bottom/ratched-baby mama anthems. Like pleeaaasssseeee. There are songs an artist of her caliber shouldn’t be making. It just seems like she is trying to compete with the young girls when you can have ur own lane. But then again she has to cater to her “YASSSS GURL” fans.

    A solid work built around a them (relationship with Jigga & black live matter) if you ask me #ControversySells. For the first time since her debut, she finally puts forward a well (almost) rounded body of work.

    • Keredim
      April 29, 11:01 Reply

      Peak soooo wanted to review this album, but wasn’t asked.

      PP I see your snub.

      ????

      • Peak
        April 29, 11:06 Reply

        Hahahahaha. Keredim! The thunder way go fire ur balls this morning enh!

        I (am suppose to) hate Bey remember? Besides Chizzie does the reviews around here, I just happen to have a complimentary opinion as a music enthusiast.

        • Keredim
          April 29, 11:31 Reply

          “I (am suppose to) hate Bey remember?”

          Nna, I fear o! Thats why i am so surprised you wrote this Phd thesis on Lemonade.

          I suppose you had to taste it (over and over again) to criticise it.
          ??

      • Peak
        April 29, 12:27 Reply

        LOL, @ Phd thesis, trust me, Y’all would have gotten a Nobel Prize worthy literature if them do mistake make post about ANTI when it dropped. I don’t hate Bey, I just think she is over hyped.

        • posh6666
          April 29, 13:04 Reply

          Honestly I feel the same way.Infact I got to discover Beyonce back then through other ‘sistaz’ cos she was like every gay boy’s role model and you were not cool enough if you didnt have Bey’s cd’s or loads of her songs in your phone and knew every lyric and how to mime at parties to her tracks.

          Then Gaga n Riri came along too.Honestly If I had just one show ticket to choose from,I did rather go for either Rihana or Ciara who I feel is underated or for some reasons voodoo has been casted upon her not to be great.

          • Delle
            April 29, 13:12 Reply

            She was never my role model, never. Not when my Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll has always been there…

    • Peak
      April 29, 11:02 Reply

      Don’t hurt yourself: I forgot about this one. I don’t like or hate it. A rock kissed cut. Boast of a lot of catch phrases. It has a sort of “feeling myself” vibe to it. But it just doesn’t settle well with me cos it screams try-hard-bey to me. Yes its a fun song, playful, hell it’s a diss cut and we know who its (allegedly) directed to. It sounds like a song made when someone was just freestyling. It ultimately played into the whole theme of “Operation burn Jay” . So no major complains here.

    • JustJames
      April 29, 11:44 Reply

      BeyFake?

      It’s possible for someone to produce something that doesn’t relate to them. It’s not being fake. It’s being an artist.

      • Peak
        April 29, 12:17 Reply

        Every writer I know, heard of or read about has had to pull from a personal experience or draws inspiration form things that has happened to them or around them. I dont know what you writers call it, but you know what i mean.
        Her fans swears upandan that she writes her song when the woman reads and speak like she never made it to 5th grade. Yet this is the 1st time a lot of them feel connected to her, why cos it finally has some depth to it. So it becomes hard to believe that talk of her writing her songs.

        I welcome you to visit her discography again. This is the 1st time her work as a WHOLE feels personal, relatable and has serious depth to it. Some of her fans and casual listeners are having a hard time getting into it because it not the usual pussy popping fiasco that there are use to.

        • Delle
          April 29, 13:18 Reply

          Who says Beygirl writes her songs? Hian!

          • Pink Panther
            April 29, 14:45 Reply

            She writes SOME of her songs. Is her song writing now going to be another mud to sling at her?

  9. Delle
    April 29, 11:04 Reply

    Daddy Lesson’s is my favorite anyway. Sandcastles is just bleh! Sorry is on repeat in my playlist. Freedom wouldn’t have been as good as it is had it not been for Kendrick. That’s all.
    Lemonade is pretty good, but I don’t see how it’s better or more iconic than ‘I Am…Sasha Fierce’!

    • Peak
      April 29, 12:05 Reply

      I disagree! I am…Sasha is a pop juggernaut in her career as Loud is to rihanna’s career. Neither is their best offering artistically. Although one of Bey’ s best as far as vocal offerings goes.

      • Delle
        April 29, 13:16 Reply

        I beg to differ, Peak. Yes, it may have been the highlight of her career but also her best effort till date. I feel Lemonade is Beyonce trying to bite into some Adele cake…I don’t see the Beyonce essence in this album. It beautiful (cos she’s a good artiste), but her element isn’t at it’s peak. Sandcastles was just too anti-beyonce if u ask me…

        • Keredim
          April 29, 13:51 Reply

          @Delle, you have just qualified what @Peak meant when he said-

          “Some of her fans and casual listeners are having a hard time getting into it because it not the usual pussy popping fiasco that there are use to.”

          ??

          • Delle
            April 29, 14:04 Reply

            Oh but then again, Beyonce isn’t all ‘pussy-popping’. She churns out beautiful sonorous singles like Disappear, Ave Maria, I was Here, Halo, Hello, Broken Hearted Girl, If I were a Boy and so on…these songs are so Beyonce in a different way. This Lemonade detaches itself from that, something I don’t entirely like.

      • Peak
        April 29, 18:39 Reply

        Delle compare the songs you mentioned with the iconic Dangerously in love and Single Ladies, the #1s that is Baby boy and check on it, the Fan favorites that is Drunk in Love, Partition, End of time, Deja vu, ring the alarm, run the world, Flawless etc. What do these songs have in common? They were cooked with a lot of pussy popping, weave tossing and endless stream of sashay! Sashay!! Sashay!!! In mind. That’s the Bey a lot of her fans and ppl are use to and want instead of Lemonade.

  10. Chuks Bassey
    April 29, 12:47 Reply

    Daddy Lessons is Country, not Old School Jazzy.

    Ballads are also Beyoncé’s forte. Dangerously in Love, Listen, Resentment, Halo, If I were A Boy, Ave Maria, Smash Into You, 1+1, I Care, I Was Here, Heaven and now Sandcastles. Ballads are emotional and soulful. So because you don’t fancy Beyoncé’s as a balladier, that doesn’t mean she isn’t amazing at it.

  11. Truth
    April 29, 13:11 Reply

    Daddy Lessons is the best. Its been on repeat since I downloaded the album. Few other songs are good and others*looking at formation with side eye* shouldn’t have been included in the album at all.

  12. Terra
    April 29, 16:57 Reply

    So…I guess I’m the only one who was drooling over star fox zero for Wii u at the time this album was being released…okay. I’ll just quietly go back to my corner now

  13. Thobie chord
    April 29, 19:47 Reply

    Everyone trying to feel among! Even the ones that don’t know shit!

  14. Marc Francis of Chelsea
    April 29, 19:54 Reply

    I love the entire album. I didn’t like Daddy Lessons at first but it has grown to be one of my faves. I love how different this album is. We can dance to all her former hits. Her 5 previous albums feature enough dance tracks. This is her bearing her soul and if anyone isn’t happy, go and make a house remix and dance to it.

  15. BlurryFace
    April 30, 09:07 Reply

    and if you haven’t seen the film itself, beyonce in a mansion underwater, that retro-chic ankara gown, her candid expression when she said “suck on my balls…”, another version of her 2014 Grammy dress, then you need to asap.

  16. olaybey
    March 06, 17:31 Reply

    sjdjfjfjcjcjcnccjjcjjc I’m the biggest Beyonce fan on here!!! the rest of you can choke! ??

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