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The 5 Biggest Takeaways from Beyoncé's 'Renaissance'

The 5 Biggest Takeaways from Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' Image
  • Posted on 29th Jul, 2022 14:47 PM

Beyoncé's latest album — an ode to queer and club culture — sees her at her most sonically daring.

Beyoncé's Renaissance is here — and we're simply basking in it.

The superstar's seventh studio album dropped at midnight and solidified Beyoncé's limitless evolution as an artist. The 16-track album is an ode to the dance floor, yes, but it's also an intricate study of the ways queer and club culture have influenced decades upon decades of music, from disco to house to everything in between.

"Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration," Bey wrote ahead of the album's release. "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."

Ahead are the 5 biggest takeaways from Renaissance.

There are no music videos — yet.

Beyoncé is going in a different route for the release of her seventh studio album. For her last two releases, she dropped music videos for every track simultaneously with the full album. But fans are still waiting for the visuals on this one (including the music video for 'Break My Soul,' the project's lead single). Beyonce hinted in an Instagram post ahead of the album's release that she wanted fans to "take their time" with the music — which suggests she's not rushing a release of the accompanying visuals.

It's her most explicit album yet.

All but 4 songs on Renaissance ('Break My Soul', 'Energy', 'Plastic Off the Sofa', and 'Move') are noted to be explicit on the album. The project is Beyoncé at her most lyrically daring; we've never seen her embrace her own sensuality like this before. The tracks "Cozy" and "Thique" specifically see Bey extolling her confidence in who she is, what she looks like, and how the world views her.

Renaissance is all about the dance floor.

Fans knew Beyoncé's seventh studio album would be dance-heavy judging from the album's artwork as well as the premiere single "Break My Soul" — but this is a completely ballad-free Beyonce project, new territory for the singer. The album's most mellow moment is "Plastic Off the Sofa" — a sensual, pared-down track that still provides a subtle groove. Along with house music, Beyonce experiments with dancehall and Afrobeats on tracks like "Move" and "Energy" (two songs that might remind fans of her previous, The Lion King-adjacent project, Black Is King).

Multiple songs pay homage to ballroom culture.

Before Renaissance's official release, Beyoncé wrote in an open letter to fans that the project was inspired by her godmother, her Uncle Jonny, and her queer fanbase. Multiple songs, including 'Alien Superstar" and "Pure/Honey," incorporate pulsing rhythms and vogue-inspired chanting made for the dance floor. Bey even gives her late godmother a shoutout on "Heated," singing "Uncle Jonny made my dress / That cheap spandex, she looks a mess."

She samples Donna Summer for the second time in her career.

Along with house music, Renaissance incorporates elements of disco, including in the album's closing track "Summer Renaissance." The song samples Donna Summer's 1976 hit "I Feel Love" and in a way pays tribute to the start of Beyoncé's illustrious career—she previously sampled Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" for her 2003 hit single "Naughty Girl."

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