The moment you download the album on iTunes, go straight to Track 10 – MOVE, the track that should have been the lead single to this entire project where Tems and the incomparable Ms. Grace Jones lend credibility to Beyoncé’s latest attempt at Afro-Caribbean groove. As soon as I got to the track I knew there was a Nigerian on it even before checking the credits. I don’t listen to Tems but she represented Africa exceptionally.
Then there’s the rest of the album, titled RENAISSANCE. With the best producers in the world and a marketing budget the GDP of a small country, the bars are very high for this album and Mrs. Carter doesn’t disappoint. She picks a specific theme and sees it through with polish. Like LEMONADE and the Black American experience or THE LION KING and the African motherland vibe. She hasn’t missed yet and this her expressed new attempt at honouring the American Ballroom culture of decades past, is no exception.
Stand out tracks include the aforementioned MOVE but the waviest beat over which she impossibly laid vocals must be PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA. You listen to the entire track waiting in vain for her to miss a beat or land on the wrong pause. Other honourable mentions include CHURCH GIRL and the already classic BREAK MY SOUL. The last Track would not have made this list if it had not already forced its way into our subconscious as the lead single that shook Drake’s domination of the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
If I must find a point of criticism, it is the length of the album and the fact that some of the tracks were reminiscent of old songs she’s already done. But with that extensive catalogue it is difficult not to have that, so yeah.
Overall, Beyoncé once again finds all the right collaborators from the past and into the future as will keep her on trend and relevant. As at the latest count, she has worked with Wizkid, Burna, Yemi Alade and now Tems…inarguably some of the best musical talents Nigeria has to offer the world – at least 3 of them. And it is this ability to find talents hidden and known, that is her own key to Legend status. I score this album 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ only because her own earlier albums “4” and “Lemonade” are yet to be surpassed in terms of flawlessness.
Let me know what y’all think