Beyoncé’s Lemonade Review
25 Apr 2016
Lemonade is the name of Beyoncé’s’ 6th studio album. This visual album journeys & explores various marital issues. The illustrations are set to be some sort of story of an alleged marital dysfunction; heavily highlighting the issue of adultery. Lemonade displays African tribalism & black empowerment, with recurring imagery of Plantation farms and predominately black women clothed in 1600’s clothing.
The hour-long masterpiece is presented in stages with chapter titles such as, ‘Intuition, Denial, Anger, Apathy, Emptiness’ and eventually ‘Redemption’. Beyoncé narrates a story of infidelity and reconciliation. We are introduced to the theme of Infidelity as a voice over of Beyoncé says “Wedlock, what a f***ing curse… Are you cheating on me?” this is followed by Beyoncé walking through the street in a bright yellow dress protesting “they don’t love you like I love you,” swinging a baseball bat and smashing cars.
The chapter titled ‘Anger’ expresses her frustration as she states “You ain’t married to an average b*tch… If you try that sh*t again, you gon’ lose your wife.” Through the relationship plot, the tale shifts as the chapter ‘Forgiveness’ reflects Beyoncé’s struggle to stay away from her lover “What is it about you, I can’t erase” with flickering scenes of herself and Jay-Z, holding one another and holding hands we see a sense of love and reconciliation. The hour ends with shots of them moving forward. “My Torturer became my remedy,” Beyoncé goes on to explain “So we’re gonna heal. We’re gonna start again”
Lemonade explores Black empowerment and black womanhood as a snippet of Malcom X’s speech plays stating “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” In the chapter ‘Resurrection’ Beyoncé showcases an emotive scene with women holding pictures of loved ones that were killed, including the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown-with a voiceover from Beyonce reading poetry by Warsan Shire. Womanhood is echoed through imagery of large groups of women showing solidarity and sisterhood.
Beyonce features high-powered black women with appearances from tennis star Serena Williams, young actresses Quvenzhané Wallis and Amandla Stenberg, and the actress/singer Zendaya. Jay Z and Blue Ivy both appear in the later parts of the short film when the story is focused on reconciliation and future happiness.
Overall, the message “I was served lemons, but I made lemonade” signified turning a negative into a positive. We see images from her wedding and her daughter Blue ivy as a family. Reconciliation is shown as the last chapter ‘Redemption’ shows Beyoncé’s forgiveness and potentially saving her husband from sin. Beyoncé is narrating a story through this visual album and scene by scene; by the end of the album she has taken you through a journey of these topics, making ‘Lemonade’ a must see.