An album of passionate party pleasers
Faith Martin
11:05 1st August 2022

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Beyoncé needs no introduction: an icon, an artist and of course the queen of self love. Struck with bouts of R'n'B and subtle injections of the singer's gospel roots, RENAISSANCE is shamelessly saucy and freeing, empowering people all over the globe through dance. 

‘I’M THAT GIRL’ is a courageous introduction to a new era. Kicking off with a drum beat and harsh synthesized vocals, harmonies start to drip over the background introducing the familiar sounds of Beyonce in a straight-talking reflection of the album to come. Flowing effortlessly into late-nineties, early-noughties inspired instant dance classic ‘COZY’, the two tracks share a common goal of making you feel unstoppable in any circumstance and educate you on how to love your true form intensely without guilt. 

The album feels like a guide into prioritising pleasure, celebrating your inner goddess and forever embracing frivolity. No more so than on ‘CUFF IT’, which is three minutes and 45 seconds of curvaceous basslines and tropical beats that instantly transform your character as high notes penetrate your ears in a delightful demonstration of balancing delicacy with assertiveness. ‘BREAK MY SOUL’ follows a similar pattern with contagious melodies and heavenly harmonies that break down the overall tone of the album. Although holding a slightly mellower ‘sunset beach party’ aura despite its capable leaning toward wild nights in Ibiza. 

‘PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA’ comes across as a mild throwback to 4 due to the stripped-back, intimate sounds on an album otherwise heavily focused on flooding dance floors. Natural honesty flows through the track, creating a quieter space for expressing desire and emotion. ‘VIRGO’S GROOVE' seamlessly enters the conversation with prowess as the second half of the album continues the old age proverb of slow and steady wins the race, utilizing the space for moments of calm.

‘ALL UP IN YOUR MIND’ is a classic expression of love and lust incorporating a modern twist. Richer, refined backing track whilst the lyrics stay almost completely repetitive throughout. At one point that would have definitely been a bugbear of mine but even I must admit I like the loop of intensity this creates and found it rather enchanting.

In an '80s inspired twist, ‘SUMMER RENAISSANCE’ samples Donna Summer's classic 'I Feel Love' as a thankful nod to disco that is still in-keeping with the themes and overall flow of the album. My main takeaway from RENAISSANCE is not only its existence to celebrate bad bitch energy but Beyoncé’s passion for decades of dance music that have shaped the way people feel, think and live life. One could argue that this isn't her fullest body of work given the sheer force of Lemonade but no one can argue the experience RENAISSANCE has given us.

RENAISSANCE is out now.

Issue Four of the Gigwise Print magazine is on pre-order now! Order here.

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Photo: Press