Is It Time for a “Renaissance”? Our Album Reviewer Suggests So…

With Beyoncé’s newest album drop, we realize that we are not ready for Her Majesty


Angelina Perez, Editorial Board

After three years, Beyoncé posted a note on her website that would change the trajectory of The Beyhive forever. That being, her announcement of Renaissance, the first part of her three-act project that she had been cooking up during those years and the whole COVID-19 pandemic. And oh God, did she deliver!
Beyoncé had finally come back to save the music industry once again! Her album, consisting of sixteen perfectly composed and graciously crafted songs, not only provided joy and escapism, but propelled a full-blown celebration of music and culture. With the first listen, I was already placed into a refreshing genre of dance, house, and disco. Her songs seamlessly arranged with each bouncing off each other in its own precise way. With each transition, she reflects “the shifting moods and the physicality of the dance floor” instead of “the constraints of a radio station or a playlist”.
Themes like self-assurance, self-love, sexuality, hedonism, and peace are eminent in all of her tracks. She blends post-1970s Black dance music styles as she pays homage to the Black and Queer pioneers of music. Reaffirming her support for the LGBTQ+ community as she influences the underground ballroom dance scene. The underground ballroom dance scene is an African-American and Latino LGBTQ+ subculture that originated in NYC. The song ‘Pure/Honey’ features samples from ‘90s drag and house music legend Moi Renee. Along with that, her second sample comes from a 1996 song made by drag performer and musician Kevin Aviance. The most heartwarming part of it all was who she dedicated this album for. Her album, containing a letter, reads, “He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album,” adding on, “Thank you to all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. This is a celebration for you.” Her emphasis on focusing on these pioneers does not go unnoticed. So often do these individuals get pushed under the radar and most times, their contributions are not shown in most media. Beyoncé gives them this spotlight and honors them in a sophisticated way. In addition to that, she promotes encouragement for those who might not have been heard yet, who may not have gotten the attention of a bigger stage, to continue and push towards their goals. This once again touches on the theme of self-love and self-assurance, which is one of the most crucial abilities and keys to living a fulfilling, successful, and happy life.
Each song captivates you like a drug. I remember that first listen like it was yesterday. It was something that could only be described as a spiritual awakening. As exaggerated as it may sound, it really is what it feels like. The lyrics, transitions, beats and choruses keep you wanting more and more, and she feeds that need through each song that plays next. The harmonies were simply sickening. From, ‘Alien Superstar’, with it’s airy and irresistible tones to ‘Cuff It’, and its warm, summer vibe. It’s outstanding how every song is conveyed in a exemplary way. It’s dynamic, disco grooving, and all around showstopping.
Beyoncé captures something unexpected and fresh that will be enjoyed by the masses and seen as a gracious example of musical excellence. She hit the mark and all the marks surrounding. It’s safe to say that no one is dethroning her spot for a while. I’m forever grateful to live in a time with a legend. All I can say is, “Bey is back and I’m sleeping real good at night.”

Beyoncé accepts her award at the 2023 Grammys for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for “Renaissance” – making her the all-time winner for most Grammys. (Photos courtesy AP)