Big Homie’s alleged infidelity fires Beyoncé’s mighty and uncensored ire on solo album number six, a typically eclectic, Andy Williams and Led Zeppelin-sampling affair packing off-kilter vocal lattices (Pray You Catch Me), thrilling, race-centric rallying calls (Freedom; Formation), and country New Orleans-and-Texas-style (Daddy Lessons). We also get affecting piano balladry (Sandcastles), outraged, über-gutsy soul (Don’t Hurt Yourself, with its pointed warning “If you try this shit again you gon' lose your wife”), and the distinct sense that Jay Z, if he really has wronged the woman whose finger he put a ring on, is fortunate to have escaped so lightly.
With its wealth of sonic adventure, its thoughtful merger of the personal and the political, and its four choice guest spots (Jack White; Kendrick Lamar; James Blake; Abel Makkonen Tesfaye AKA The Weeknd), Lemonade is a dazzling example of pooled talent coalescing around an iconic doyenne. There can be little doubt on whose head Prince’s crown should now sit.
Watch a trailer for the video version of Lemonade – each track on the album boasts its own clip – below now.