The day is here: Beyoncé has finally dropped her highly-anticipated seventh studio album Renaissance. The hefty 16-track LP – the first installment of a “three act project” – includes lead single “Break My Soul” as well as contributions from Jay-Z, Skrillex, 070 Shake, The-Dream, Drake, Beam, Grace Jones, and Tems.
Renaissance is Beyoncé's first solo album since she released her critically-acclaimed Lemonade six years ago. Almost three years in the works, Renaissance was recorded over the course of the pandemic.
“Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world,” Queen Bey said in press materials. “It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration.”
Renaissance includes several instances of interpolation, such as: Donna Summer's “I Feel Love” on “Summer Romance”; Robin S.’ “Show Me Love” on “Break My Soul”; Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" on “Alien Superstar”; and Kelis’ “Milkshake” on “Energy." As for other contributions, Nova Wav, No I.D., Raphael Saadiq, Mike Dean, Honey Dijon, Chris Penny, Luke Solomon, and others are credited.
Unsurprisingly, the album leaked online two days before its official release. Just before the album's proper due date, Beyoncé released a statement via social media thanking her fans for waiting. “So, the album leaked, and you all actually waited until the proper release time so you can all enjoy it together,” she wrote. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t thank y’all enough for your love and protection. I appreciate you for calling out anyone that was trying to sneak into the club early. It means the world to me. Thank you for your unwavering support. Thank you for being patient. We are going to take our time and enjoy the music. I will continue to give you all my all and do my best to bring you joy. I love you deep.”
You can stream Renaissance on your preferred streaming service via Beyoncé's website. Also on the website is a huge merch drop including a collector's edition vinyl, a CD version, and various t-shirts, hoodies, and other knick-knacks. The items will stay on Beyoncé's website for a week, and then the shop will close.
Listen to some new tracks from Renaissance below.
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