2. All Night
3. Daddy Lessons
4. 6 Inch
Lemonade Score: 4/5
Breakdown after the jump!
Hold up is the second track on the album that took some time to grow on me, but now it is the first one to always get stuck in my head. The song has a laid back vibe that is contrasted by Bey’s lyrics “What’s worse looking jealous or crazy? Or being walked all over? I’d rather be crazy.” The chorus has some catchy lullaby elements that will end up in your head for days.
6 Inch is the club banger and has the second best feature on the album (The Weeknd). The song has an orchestral build that leads into Bey’s smokey lower range register, undermined by booming bass lines. I’m not going to lie, hearing Beyonce say the words
“she gonna slay” is epic. My only gripes with the song is that it will eventually date itself with its use of modern day slang.
Daddy Lessons is arguably my favorite track on the album. You feel like you are in New Orleans as soon as the song starts with the brass band and clapping. Bey’s voice shines over an acoustic guitar and a simple drum beat. During the bridge, we hear the brass section come in again, this time highlighting the saxophone. As far as I know, this is Bey’s first foray into a country sound, and she nails it. I only wish she would have gone country a bit sooner.
The first few chords on the piano at the beginning of the ballad, Sandcastles, always make me go “Oh, shit.” Bey delivers a great theatrical performance on vocals knowing that she really needs to sell it in order for it to not come across as cheesy or cliché and she pulls it off. I get chills every time she sings “I scratched out your name, and
your face, what is it about you that I can’t erase?” The choir comes in during the second half of song after B sings the line “your heart is broken cause I walked away” (~2:12). Lyrically, this is where Beyoncé has a change of heart, proclaiming “and I
know I promised that I couldn’t stay baby, every promise don’t work out that
way” Bey closes out the song a capella with the piano and choir dropping out
for the last 3 seconds of the song.
Freedom should be a single. It has rapper Kendrick Lamar, who has the best feature on the album. I often find myself wishing they gave him 2 verses instead of 1 when I am blasting this in my car. The church organ and drums on this track give me a Doors vibe. Favorite line: “I’m gonna keep running cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.”
All Night starts off simply and beautifully with just a reverberated guitar and drums. The opening lines, “found the truth beneath your lies, and true love never has to hide” is echoed by the choir in a call and response manner that recurs throughout the track. We then hear the introduction of a piano and an underlying bass groove. The pre-chorus is B frantically singing “so many people I know just want to touch ya, kiss up, rub up, and feel up on you” and is followed by “sweet love, all night long” over a rolling bass line complimented by horns that play the hook that sticks in your head.
When we hit the bridge at around 3 minutes, everything drops
out except for the bass and an orchestra. B sings the line “They say true loves the greatest weapon to win the war caused by pain” and then the choir comes in, followed by the guitar and drums. The song ends with just the orchestra playing, and B whispering as she did in the first track, (Pray You Catch Me) “Oh I’ve missed you my love”.
Overall, the bass groove on this song is strong and I love the brass section. The inclusion of all the instruments used throughout Lemonade on this track is a great touch – even if I am slighted by the overall message.
Lemonade concludes with Formation, which I find to be an odd choice considering the narrative of the album. If it were me, I would have placed Formation closer to 6 Inch and closed the album with All Night. That said, Formation contains my favorite lyrics of the
“You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation
Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.”