On July 29th, 2022, we were given the gift of a fantastic album from Beyoncé. Ever since it came out, I have either listened to Renaissance or thought about listening to the album. Coincidentally. I also learned how to spell renaissance without spell check. I've been obsessed with this album since I heard it, and I've wanted to bring back The Happy Arkansan for a while. So, why not mix my love of Beyoncé and my wish to bring the blog back? Let's do a track-by-track Renaissance review below. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment.
1. I'm That Girl
The first track, I'm That Girl, gives us a great taste of what to expect on this album. This song makes me feel like I'm that girl, as it should. I also enjoy the different mixes in the background. Plus, “It's not the diamonds, it's not the pearls, I'm that girl.” is the perfect Instagram caption.
Favorite Line: Such a heathen, why they let me outside?
Cozy is somehow cozy and edgy at the same time. It feels like the song I can sip my favorite matcha tea lattes to while also being a song I can groove to. Also, this song's sentiment is about self-empowerment and being comfortable with yourself. It's so easy not to love what makes you unique. Scars are physical reminders of what's wrong with you. I love that Beyoncé is all about loving who you are, scars and all.
Favorite Line: I'm swaggy, effortlessly. That's how God made me. So, bitch, pay me.
3. Alien Superstar
I'll admit it, on my first listen, I didn't gravitate toward Alien Superstar. It was late, I was tired, but I am now reformed. Every time someone says category, I immediately have to say bad or sexy bitch. It's honestly nonnegotiable. More importantly, the outro to this song is a banger. Bullshit? We flying over. I just talk my shit? Casanova. Power? Pull 'em in closer. It's everything.
Favorite Line: If that's your man, then why he over here?
4. Cuff It
This song makes me want to learn how to rollerskate. Considering I was dropped as a child while at a rollerskating rink, this is a huge compliment to this song, Cuff It is just a fun song that makes me forget I am an introvert for a few minutes. You need a jello shot and a dance floor when it comes on.
Favorite Line: Unapologetic when we fuck up the night.
5. Energy (Featuring Beam)
I'm one of those Beyoncé fans who enjoyed The Gift, so Energy was 😘. I loved this song, even though it was less than two minutes long. I feel like this song uses every second, and it never fails to make me dance. It had so many amazing lyrics. Another lyric from this song I've been obsessed with is “We was just chillin', mindin' our business, poppin' our pain and champagne through the ceilin'.”
Favorite Line: Wait, I hear you just got paid. Make it rain, energy.
6. Break My Soul
Like many fans, I understand why Break My Soul was the lead single from Renaissance. I feel it's relatable, fun, and gives you a great idea of what the album will be like without giving away too much. Break My Soul makes me want to quit the job I don't have (in case you didn't know, I quit my job in December to go back to full-time freelancing.)
Favorite Line: Bey is back, and I'm sleepin' real good at night.
7. Church Girl
I spent a lot of time in the church as a child. So when I saw this track, I was immediately intrigued. I had no idea it was going to be a twerk anthem. It's such a surprising song. I love to see people listen to this particular track for the first time since it's so unexpected. I was immediately drawn to Church Girl, as you can tell, because it was in my original top three on Twitter.
Favorite Line: I'm gonna love on me. Nobody can judge me but me. I was born free.
8. Plastic Off The Sofa
This song is a unique brand of beautiful. Plastic Off The Sofa is probably the most stunning song Beyoncé has ever written. It's also a fascinating insight into a world I could probably never understand. It's sad that Beyoncé feels the need to isolate herself from the world in the way she does, but I am happy that she has a family who understands her. Overall, this song is stellar, and I appreciate that she decided to share this level of vulnerability with the world. Also, runs.
Favorite Line: It's the way you listen when I'm cryin'. You let me lean in.
9. Virgo's Groove
Okay, here's the thing about Virgo's Groove, runs. The absolute runs. The absolute showing out. Here's another thing, I kinda wanted my favorite line to be the, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” the backup singers do after “on this magic ride,” but I thought it might be weird. This song has really well-placed yeahs. Overall, this is another song that makes me want to learn to rollerskate, and I'm here for it. The chill groove this song gives me is doing something for my soul.
Favorite Line: We ain't got time like we used to. But we still shine like we used to. And we still grind like we used to. And we cut ties when we need to.
10. Move (Featuring Grace Jones & Tems)
Move is another track that immediately caught my attention on the first listen. If you like her songs on The Gift, this is another song that will give you moving and grooving. Once this song hits, “Find me, I don't need to call him…” it feels like a new experience that flows seamlessly into Heated.
Favorite Line: Give me a little fire. Give me a little flame, yeah. Give me a relight and wine. I don't want to contemplate.
This song has a uniquely Drake sound, but Beyonce does a great job of making it her own, especially in the outro, which is just iconic. I mean, the line, “flip-flop, flippy, flip-floppin'-ass bitch” speaks to my soul. I am also obsessed with the line, “only the radio could play me.” Heated makes me want to dance and say eff you to haters I don't think I have. ✨
Favorite Line: Dimples on my hip, stretch marks on my tits. Drinkin' my water, minding my biz. Monday, I'm overrated. Tuesday, on my dick.
This is the last of the songs in my first listen top three. Thique is everything. It makes me feel like a bad bitch and someone who is not living up to expectations simultaneously. I can see this being a gym workout anthem because who doesn't want to be more thique? I can also see this being a general life anthem because of some of the lyrics in this song. Anywho, I'll just be listening to Thique to hype myself up for client calls from here on out.
Favorite Line: She thought she was killing that shit. I told her, “Go harder.”
13. All Up In Your Mind
Ah, All Up In Your Mind, our stalker's anthem. This is Beyoncé's Joe from You moment, and I am here for it. The stalker bits actually didn't resonate with me until I listened to this song again for this review. It's interesting what you notice after listening a million times. Overall this is a quick, fun, dark song that shows another side to Beyoncé's voice. This song is so interesting because it often doesn't sound like her, even though I know it is just her voice with a bit of manipulation. I am excited to see the visuals for this one.
Favorite Line: You need a real wild girl. You need me, all your demons, it's gon' take a little work.
14. America Has A Problem
Y'all, I don't know why I slept on this song during the first listen. By the time I got here, I had been dancing for nearly an hour. No more. I will no longer be sleeping on America Has A Problem. Like most people, when I heard this name, I had preconceived notions about the social justice issues that would be tackled within it. It turns out it's just a bop. It's been interesting to see non-Beyoncé fans react when someone posts a random dance video with “America Has A Problem” as the caption on Twitter. Also, I can't tell you how many times I've listened and hit rewind on this song just to get the rap part right.
Favorite Line: Twenty, forty, eighty out the trap, hit it with the rap, put it on the map, then we right back.
Beyoncé did something magical on this song. Typically, when you see a slash in the title, it's mostly for aesthetics, not separation. However, Pure/Honey does genuinely feel like two separate short songs. I think my favorite section is Honey because it has a distinct Prince-like feel to it. Although the Pure side has some iconic imagery I can't wait to see in visual form.
- Pure: Bad bitches to the left. Money bitches to the right. You can be both, meet in the middle, dance all night.
- Honey: I ain't never felt a feeling like this. You've been in love, but not like this. Sweet, honey, sin, taste it on your lips.
16. Summer Renaissance
We've finally made it to track 16, Summer Renaissance. This is a fantastic closer that's dancey while showing her range in several parts of this song. I can hear this in a club. Also, I can't get over my favorite line in the song's outro. I mean, she knows exactly how much people will obsess over this three-act experience. We are honestly not worthy.
Favorite Line: Collect your coins, Beyoncé.
My Overall Renaissance Review: This Album Is So Unique
Okay, let's wrap this thing up. I've spent hours listening to Renaissance, and I cannot say enough great things about this record. I know that many people, from fans of Beyoncé to casual listeners, have been impressed with Renaissance.
I believe that this album is full of songs that will be club classics. It's one of her strongest albums to date, and Renaissance has left such a lasting impression on me. Like many others, I feel like I've listened to this album a lot more in the first week than I did any other album from Beyoncé.
If Act I indicates what's to come, I am excited to see what other treats Beyoncé has for us.