Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Beyonce, Queen Bey, or however you refer to her dropped her secret visual album on iTunes just last week.  Like everyone else, I’ve been listening to her album pretty consistently, trying to fully digest it and develop a clear opinion on it.  But before I get to the music, I do want to point out how ingenious of a plan this was on her team’s part.  Trust me, I’m no Stan for Beyonce, but you have to admit 17 albums and 14 songs coming together to create an unannounced album that wasn’t leaked is one of the few ways to get even more people talking about a singer who is arguably the top R&B vocalist out right now.  That’s perfect marketing!  As for the music, it definitely doesn’t disappoint.  No, I’m not blasting every song on repeat every time I’m driving in my car, but the album as a whole does have a huge “repeat value” to it that makes you crave listening to it for long periods at a time.

Generally speaking, I appreciate the vibe that Bey is giving her fans on this piece of work.  For example, “Yonce” and “Partition” (what’s currently playing) bring us back to Beyonce’s trill roots that brought us songs like “Soldier” and “Freakum Dress.”  They encourage female listeners to be unashamed of their sensuality, while still hanging on to their power.  Furthermore, “Bow Down B!tches” and “Flawless” does promote female empowerment no matter what other critics are saying.  These songs aren’t meant for women to belittle other women, but instead for women to bring themselves up as individuals.  What woman doesn’t want to think of themselves as a flawless queen who knows they look good?  It’s not about bringing women down, it’s about having a high self-esteem and I’m digging it.

Mixed in with the raw Beyonce, the album also shows a woman in love, which is no surprise being that Bey is madly in love and it’s an R&B album.  With that love come romance, sex, and doubt, showing the different sides of love and relationships.  It’s real.  You see romance in “Superpowers” featuring Frank Ocean, sensuality in “Rocket,” and doubt in “Mine” featuring Drake, but they all emote the love that Beyonce has for her hubby Jay Z.  I definitely appreciate the R&B, old school tones found in the first two and I am a big fan of the modernity brought into “Mine.”  It helps break up the monotony that albums can easily fall into.

Overall, the album was perfectly titled Beyonce because there really is no other way to describe it.  People are multifaceted with different sides, different interests, and different inspirations.  I think Bey did a good job of showing each side in her album, while making it a cohesive piece.  I appreciate the emotion in “Heaven” with her miscarriage in mind, while also loving the forwardness of “Drunk in Love” inspired by her relationship.  It’s an album that her audience can relate to and it came at a time when her fans were fiending for more Beyonce.

If you haven’t heard any of her new songs yet, here’s “Drunk in Love” featuring Jay Z.  Enjoy!


About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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