When Beyoncé, Queen Bey, announced her upcoming album "Renaissance" in British "Vogue" a few weeks ago, it became clear what the balance of power was like between the two: It wasn't "Vogue" that gave the singer a place as it might have been in the past.
It wasn't Beyoncé who must have felt flattered to be on the cover.
It was the queen who eulogized the magazine with her choice of platform, knowing that whatever she does will get its attention, its audience.
It's hard to overstate Beyoncé's influence and power in the music industry.
The release of "Renaissance", which came out six years after "Lemonade" at the end of last week, was therefore a long-awaited event that received maximum media attention.
Editor in the “Germany and the World” department.
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A lot has happened since then: there were discussions about the word "spaz", which discriminates against people with disabilities and which Beyoncé has since removed from her song "Heated".
Monica Lewinsky then spoke up and pointed out that the singer hadn't removed a line from her 2013 song "Partition" that offended Lewinsky.
Beyoncé also dropped a sample of the song "Milkshake" from her song "Energy" after its singer accused Kelis of stealing it.
All these accusations, no matter how justified they may be, will have little effect on the Queen.
Because even if she makes mistakes – some of which are avoidable (the singer Lizzo had been criticized for the same word a few weeks earlier): she does a lot of things right.
A rebirth after the Corona period
"Renaissance" is the first part of a trilogy that Beyoncé, as she writes on her website, recorded during the corona pandemic.
At a time of stalemate, work has allowed her to feel "free and adventurous."
The title is to be understood exactly like this: as rebirth, as liberation and joy at going out into the world again after these years.
One might almost say to dance out, if that weren't such a bad, cheesy word.
Because "Renaissance" has become a dance album.
And it is precisely here that the second meaning of the title opens up, a meaning that takes the word to its origins: on this album, like the artists of the Renaissance, Beyoncé also refers to a past that inspires her and from whose influences she creates something new , own creates.
Sixteen almost entirely danceable songs that bring back the house and disco sound of the 70's, 80's and 90's.
Because Beyoncé thanked her homosexual cousin who died of AIDS, "Uncle Johnny" and "all the fallen angels" in her announcement text, "Renaissance" was immediately dubbed her queer album.
One of the singer's many references is the "Ballroom" scene, the African and Latin American LGBTQ movement, and a producer she has worked with, Honey Dijon, DJ and trans woman living in New York and Berlin.
One shouldn't expect overly political texts.
Because even if Beyoncé throws in things, sings about "Karens", unpleasant middle-class white women who become terrorists, about singles, "Happy on her own, with her friends, without a man", it's often about one classic couple relationship, the love for her boy that makes you higher than drugs.
"Renaissance" is an album that more,
empowers' than accuses and is a lot of fun at the same time.
One can imagine Beyoncé starting a disco hype.
Who should be able to do it - if not her?
If one talks about a new album by the singer, her visual language can hardly go unmentioned, in addition to the music.
Beyoncé's talent for iconography is in no way inferior to her musical talent.
On the cover of "Renaissance" you can see her, almost naked, sitting on a horse.
One thinks, on the one hand, of Bianca Jagger and her performance at Studio 54. And, on the other hand, of Lady Godiva, protagonist of a medieval legend that is often referred to in pop culture.
As in music, Beyoncé takes references that appeal to her, choosing those that will garner her the most attention.
It's humorous, but it also shows who's in charge here.
This cheerful kind of emancipation is refreshing, and so while listening to the album makes you want to dance, you look at
A smaller, more inconspicuous image is a must.
It's on her website, right next to the lyrics to the new album: There you can see a Beyoncé without make-up, in bed with her three children.
This balancing act between glamor and intimacy, conveying closeness despite leading a life that could hardly be further removed from that of normal people, is Beyoncé's great strength.
And when she sings about a relationship, as in "Plastic off the sofa", "I think you're so cool (even though I'm cooler than you)", one immediately thinks of the glamor couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
Although, actually, you hardly know anything.
But it doesn't matter, it's pop music, and after all it lives on illusion.
That Beyoncé is so insanely good at creating illusions makes it clear why she's the one calling the shots.Keywords: