Hear ye, hear ye!
Beyoncé’s upcoming album, Renaissance, will be released in approximately four days, and I have just the thing you need to get your ears ready in anticipation.
Seeing as how Queen Bey blessed us with the official tracklist last week, I figured it’d be extremely helpful (read: ridiculously ambitious) of me to review those song titles and try to surmise what I think they may be about. Now, just to be clear, I have not received an advanced copy of this album or been sent any leaks—y’all know Parkwood nor Miss Yvette Noel-Shure plays like that. So these reviews are solely based on the strength of my love for Beyoncé and my unofficial-official affiliation with the Beyhive.
So without further ado, let’s start off with...
“I’m That Girl” — This is clearly a bad bitch anthem. We haven’t had a project from Mrs. Carter since 2019 and because of that, it was only right that she had to come back reminding us that she’s that girl, been that girl, and will always be that girl. I have no doubts that this song will provide plenty of Instagram captions for the next six months. She’s an icon, she’s a legend, and she is the moment. I expect nothing less.
“Cozy” — This automatically gives “I’m sitting over here cozy in my nice house, with my man and my beautiful kids, and I’m so unbothered by what y’all have to say or have said about me” vibes. It feels like a song that would make her haters and our imaginary ones even more mad at our success and honestly, I’m here for it. Nothing excites me more than when I see a beautiful, successful woman pop her shit. So if this is what she’s giving, then I’m primed and ready to receive.
“Alien Superstar” — Now this one is a little tricky, and it’s a little tricky for a few reasons. 1) Per the official credits, it looks like this song will boast contributions from Jay-Z and Lucky Daye, amongst other folks. If you’ve listened to Lucky’s latest album Candydrip, then you’d know he’s been sort of bringing this futuristic vibe to all his sounds. And this makes me supremely intrigued as to how much of that will be present in this song. The second reason why this is tricky is because we all just got a little taste of alien/UFO activity thanks to Jordan Peele’s NOPE, which was just released in theaters over the weekend.
Listen, Bey. I don’t know if you and Jordan are in cahoots, but if y’all are, I hope y’all tone it down enough in this song so that we can actually enjoy it instead of being creeped out and slightly uncomfortable while bopping our heads to the beat.
“Cuff It” — This song feels like it may stand in the gap between either being a bad bitch anthem or a plea for a lover to make things official. Of course, we know Jay-Z and Bey have been married for a while, now so it’s not reflective of what she’s going through personally. But for all those waiting on their partners to make things Instagram-official, this one’s probably for you.
“Energy” — This song may actually be a bit moving, seeing as how every year since her last project, The Lion King: The Gift, has been filled with so many crazy energies. I feel like this may be the one song that makes us be like “Wow, Beyonce really gets us.” I also feel like this could have been a good song for Jhene Aiko to come on to do some sort of sound bowl meditation or something in there. Who knows. But I really think this song will be the sort of cleansing track we’ve all been missing.
“Break My Soul” — I’ve already given my breakdown for this song, but I will say this: every since this song came out, it seems like all of society has conspired via various attempts to break our souls. Overturning Roe v. Wade, countless shootings, etc. Our souls may not be broken, but they just might have a few dents and cracks. So I guess we better keep this in rotation. Also, Bey, I’m not trying to tell you what to do or nothing but can we get that music video soon?
“Church Girl” — You remember when we previously told you this album was going to reportedly have dance and country-centric songs? Well, from the title alone, I think this may be more on the dance side—but not the kind of dance you might think. Given that Twinkie Clark from the legendary Clark Sisters is listed in the credits for this one, don’t be surprised if you get to clapping your hands and stomping your feet to this joint. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some heavy Sounds of Blackness vibes and influence coming out of it too. Black Gospel music raised most of us, so this slight reprieve from the other songs would make a whole lot of sense.
“Plastic Off the Sofa” — This song is giving sex a la “Partition”-style, but with a little whisper groove injected in there. I say this only because Sabrina Claudio is credited and while I’m not a stan of hers, she brings a real soft essence to any song she’s on—even if it’s about sitting on a man’s...you know what. (Looking at you “That’s Why I Love You.”)
“Virgo’s Groove” — On this song, I’m pretty sure Bey’s going to talk her shit about Virgo’s being the best sign. And while I have to vehemently disagree seeing as how Tauruses are indeed the superior sign, I’m pretty sure this song will be a cute, little bop. I ain’t mad at it but it may be the only time Beyoncé gets something wrong. I SAID WHAT I SAID.
“Move” — This title automatically takes me back to “Get Me Bodied.” I feel like this might be that one song that explodes on TikTok and is played in every Peleton class (looking at you Cody Rigsby, specifically.) It honestly gives “boom-clack,” “a five-six-seven-eight,” and Sean Bankhead’s “big bags bussin’ out the Bentley Bentayga, boom, boom, a baka-baka-bak.” Let’s just hope our knees can keep up.
“Heated” — WORLD, STOP. This song features Drake so it’s an automatic hit for me. I don’t really care to hypothesize on the subject matter because it doesn’t matter what the subject matter is. Drake is on the track with Beyoncé. It’s already a hit! Moving on!
“Thique” — For this song, I’m definitely getting “bad bitch anthem” number two. I don’t know any girl who doesn’t take “aye, you getting thick, ain’t you” as a compliment—unless it’s coming from a stank and rude older relative or an ugly man catcalling them on the street. This, coupled with the fact that she spelled it with the “que” instead of the “ck,” really just lets me know that she’s probably going to be in her bag on this one. I can see maybe a rap verse (or two) from Bey on here too and boy, do I hope I’m right.
“All Up in Your Mind” — Hmm. The title of this song feels like it could teeter the line between “bad bitch anthem” number three or relationship struggles told from a man’s perspective. And what I mean by the latter point is that this song could be about the connection a couple had and now that they’ve broken it off (because he did something dumb of course, Black women don’t cheat), she’s all up in his mind—and he can’t shake the love he lost. Yeah, that feels like that could be it. Or she could simply be talking about how bad of a woman she is and all her fineness, smarts, and all-around badass-ness is making him go insane in the membrane.
“America Has a Problem” — First of all, yes America does. Secondly, just one? I really think that this track is going to be a bit “Black Parade”-like in the sense that it may be one of these “woke” tracks that talks about the perils of capitalism, the patriarchy, and whatever other issues Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole like to frequently wax poetic about. (I ain’t mad at’em for it, I’m just saying. Y’all know what I’m talking about, don’t come for me.)
“Pure/Honey” — To be honest, this song title is giving sexy. Not in the explicit or overtly horny way, but more so in the double entendres, hidden meanings-type of way. Both The-Dream and Raphael Saadiq are credited on this song too, so I really think if it doesn’t get you in the mood to be with your boo, it’ll at least make you wish you had a boo to be with.
“Summer Renaissance” — This feels like it may be another dance banger à la “Break My Soul,” thanks in large part to Donna Summers being listed in the official credits. It also sounds like a good album closer that will someway, somehow usher us into act II. Now that we’ve had a renaissance, maybe the next phase is to get reborn? I’m just grasping but if my theory turns out to be true, you heard it here first.
Final Verdict: Overall, I give this album 5 stars. 10/10 would recommend. I have no notes.