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REVIEW: Did Beyonce's Lemonade Quench Your Thirst?

By now most people have seen the new visual album by Beyonce, which premiered on HBO this past weekend. The cultivation of high demand for a Beyonce project, and the sudden death of the music icon Prince, seemed to leave fans thirsty for a potent dose of art.


Lemonade is labeled as a visual album. Many great artist, such as Michael Jackson, Kanye West, and Prince, have evolved their audio to visual on the television or movie screen. Lemonade is magnificent to the viewing eye. In an almost hour long playback with very few speaking roles beyond Beyonce's, it is a hard task to extend a character's reach and importance, yet the people in Lemonade all showed strong definition. This was thanks to great directing and shot selection, Many scenes placed a person or group center frame, often looking right at the camera, and just held it there. This forces the viewer to analyze the person, to look into their eyes and try to figure out who they are, and what they are feeling. This technique worked the best when the mother's of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, along with other women who have lost someone, held picture frames of the deceased. This allowed the viewed to bring upon their own speculations and sequence of thought.


Where the imagery gives off happiness, sadness, and a sense of pride, the lyrics to Lemonade convey a different message of pain, anger, and self-confidence. The list of memorable lines are endless with many in actual song, but the brief monologues throughout provide the most depth. "So what are you going to say at my funeral now that you've killed me? Here lies the body of the love of my life whose heart I broke without a gun to my head." Her words are a fight, both outwardly and internally, to contest the troubles of life.


Takeaways from Lemonade are in abundance! On the surface there is a bitterness of shame. A shadow cast upon men for their wrong doings and infidelity. It's hard to escape lines like, "He better call Becky with the good hair." Yikes! Countless memes and jokes have been created poking fun at the album's take on relationships. After all, Beyonce is on the highest of tiers in society, so the idea of a woman of her caliber to still have to deal with a cheating partner is tarnishing to the hearts of women, and to the trustworthiness of men. This sense of a harsh reality does fade through further examination.

On a deeper level, Lemonade is a story of truth. A rough truth, yet a successful one. The real message in this album is triumph. It is triumph over generation habits, over love, over self-esteem, over anything and everything that dares to stand in your way physically, mentally, or spiritually. Lemonade may not reach as broad an audience as Beyonce's past work, but it will surely be a well remembered album for her core audience, the African American woman.

p.s. with an amazing album like this how does DJ Khaled fit as an opener for her tour?

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