Loved THIS review of Beyonce by The Atlantic
Here a few my few favorite thoughts
Feeney: The project caught us by surprise, but its ambition makes sense for her—she did, after all, make a video for every song on B’Day’s deluxe edition. Though that project featured a handful of visual treats—“Freakum Dress” and “Get Me Bodied”—other songs got simple, boring treatments that felt like rushed afterthoughts. Here, the videos are much more integral, as much a part of the song’s DNA as the music and lyrics, and they bring out ideas and interpretations I wouldn’t pick up on otherwise. Beyoncé’s multimedia approach enhances the experience by focusing on the art itself, not the technology used to distribute it. (Cough, Artpop, cough.)
Feeney: That’s the lesson I took away from this album, too. Beyoncé may “have it all,” but she fights back against the notion that having it all is a static, singular identity. She can be Beyoncé, the mother to Blue Ivy. She can be Sasha Fierce, the fearless entertainer. She can be Peaches when she gets nasty, as she sings here. And she can be Yoncé, who I can only assume is Beyoncé’s rapping alter ego. (What I wouldn’t do for a Yeezus-Yoncé joint tour.) Does she contradict herself? Sure. But Beyoncé is vast! She contains multitudes! Try and pin Beyoncé down, and she won’t cooperate. I don’t think it’s a stretch to look at Beyoncé’s messages of female empowerment over the years as a celebration of just how multifaceted womanhood can be.
Fetters: It makes a tidy statement to say that Beyoncé, the album, is about that: Beyoncé doing whatever she wants. But does that apply to this album more than her other ones?
I do think “Grown Woman” is the real theme piece, especially the “grown” part. There’s a lot of baby-Beyoncé, and then there’s plenty of Blue Ivy, too, which seems to emphasize that she’s completed the circle, in a way: She’s been doing this since she was a baby, now she’s still doing it and she has a baby. She grew up doing this, and now, as a grown-up, she’s doing exactly what she grew up to do—and she’s dominant at it. Whether you grow up wanting to be a singer or wanting to be an accountant, making it a reality and flattening your competition in the field you’ve chosen is enough to make anybody feel justified in throwing on a tiara, pouring a drink, and announcing, “Bitches, I run this.”