Featuring The Weeknd (I so wish that he had added that extra ‘e’ to the name, just my OCD there) the song “6 Inch” which is all about being empowered and ladies being the ones in control of their own destiny, making the money themselves and the struggles that come with this life. It is a strong number lyrically, musically it is the first number on the album which does not really do anything for me. Using pieces of “My Girls” by Animal Collective, the bass is heavy and it has some moments that should be giving a euphoric lift to the struggle that is happening, but it passes me by; it is a good song, but the first four were such a stealer collective that it leaves this first single behind in the dust for me. “Daddy Lessons” is the half way point of this album, with a brass section, clapping and a country vibe to the song; it explorers the similarities between husbands and fathers at times, the failures and strengths and it makes no secret that neither of them are perfect. It is a strong number that shows the lessons that are taught and being strong; some of it is fiction and some of it true, much like any good story that is told. It is a decent number, I am not hearing what I would call country in the song as it has too much of the New Orleans sound mixed in for it to be an out and out country number – just saying Texas does not make something Country, but it is also a good number that people will identify with in ways that are not going to be apparent to everyone. “Love Drought” is about a relationship that lacks trust, but both people are still fighting for it to work. It has an interest synth section which is provided by Kanye West producer Mike Dean, drifting in the breeze whilst the bass is searching for the lower reaches of audio sound. Unlike “6 Inch”, the music is better than the lyrics on this one for me; it is another decent number that is good for what it is and I would not mind if it came on, but I prefer the first four songs of the album and I would not rush to play this one again. “Sandcastles” is a ballad of acceptance, reflection and a sort of acceptance/forgiveness to the situation. It is one of those standard numbers that Ms B can do in her sleep, it has the passion of experience behind the lyrics and the video which accompanies the song is a strong statement of both reflection and remembrance. You can see the couple start to head back together at this point, the connections and realisation that one cannot be without the other are falling into place; it is a gentle number which I had been expecting from the second number onwards, but I am quite glad it is towards the end of the album as forgiveness should not come too soon for this album.
With James Blake, “Forward” is the shortest song on this album and unlike “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, there is a harmony to the vocals when Beyoncé enters the song. The male and female vocals are intertwined and not in conflict, they are moving together in sequence. It is a good number, it ends one a deconstruction of sound moment which gives it a spot of intrigue for me and there is not much else that can be said about it at this time. Next is “Freedom” which features Kendrick Lamar (this man cannot do any wrong at the moment in my eyes); part protest song, part standing up for your rights, part crying for help and asking for escape, it has a great sample from the song "Let Me Try" by Kaleidoscope, which as memorable when “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So" by the Chi-Lites was used in the international smash hit “Crazy in Love” and we all know how that one turned out for Mrs B. Kendrick owns this song for me, the man is in the middle of a Medias period in his music career as he just adds another layer to this already fantastic number. It is a great song that references female and black rights, the black lives matter movement and it also picking up the pace for me after a few numbers and ends with applause and a little sample about having strength taken from the Collection Speech /Unidentified Lining Hymn by Reverend R. C. Crenshaw & Congregation. The penultimate song of this album is “All Night” which is a song that deals in acceptance, resolution and the path towards redemption, detailing a state of peace and tranquillity and finally getting to the bottom of the lies which caused the schism in the first instance. There is still a tone of being angry to the song, but there is also love in the mix and a knowledge that moving forward that it might not be perfect, it is worth fighting for in the first place. Some people might as why the protagonist decided to welcome the unfaithful back to the fold? For me, it is a showing that it takes a greater strength to forgive, rather than lose the love of their life – whether it is fictional or fact, we might never get to the bottom of that one to be honest. But the slow old school R&B number is a number that takes a while to sink in, adding pieces along the way that give it a memorable feeling. Forgiveness can sound good, but I also reckon that memories will long remain for this one as well. Ending the album is “Formation” which is a song too far for my tastes if I am honest, a new school R&B number, this is a song about having pride in yourself and there is a bit of bragging to the song. It is a style of song that does not appeal to me, but I am not really the target audience of this song as it is aimed for people in the club with a heavy bass, some verse which demand chant back and it will make fans of this music want to hit the floor as fast as they possibly can. But it is not a song I can like, let alone love in any way; however, I can appreciate it for what it is and it brings the curtain down with a brilliant line – You know you that bitch when you cause all the conversation. Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.
8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
Top song – Sorry
You can purchase Lemonade on Amazon here