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Beyoncé's Renaissance Album

Beyoncé's Highly Anticipated "Renaissance" Album Has Arrived — Listen Here

Beyoncé's Renaissance Album
Image Source: Carlijn Jacobs

Beyoncé's highly anticipated seventh solo album, "Renaissance," has finally arrived. On 29 July, the singer released her 16-track album and thanked her loyal fans for waiting until its official release to listen to the project. "So, the album leaked, and you all actually waited until the proper release time so you all can enjoy it together," she wrote on her website. "I've never seen anything like it. I can't thank y'all enough for your love and protection. I appreciate you for calling out anyone that was trying to sneak into the club early. It means the world to me."

"I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle."

It's clear this new project hits close to home for the singer. A day before "Renaissance"'s release, Beyoncé shared another special message on her website, along with a rare selfie of her and JAY-Z's three kids, Blue Ivy, Rumi, and Sir Carter. "I want to give a special thank you to Rumi, Sir, and Blue for allowing me the space, creativity, and inspiration," her statement read. "And a special thanks to my husband and muse, who held me down during those late nights in the studio."

Beyoncé also thanked her "Godmother" Uncle Johnny, whom she name drops on the album, for being "the first person to expose me to a lot of music and culture that served as inspiration for this album." She concluded her message of gratitude by thanking "all the pioneers who originate culture," "fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long," her team, and her parents, Matthew and Tina Knowles.

The "Renaissance" album rollout over the last month and a half has revealed a lot of fun surprises. A week before its release, Beyoncé shared the official tracklist in a 20 July Instagram Story. The announcement came a few weeks after she unveiled the "Renaissance" album art, which dropped on June 30, along with an Instagram caption explaining the album's inspiration.

"Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving," she wrote. "My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration. I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are."

On 20 June, Beyoncé dropped the first single from the album, "Break My Soul," featuring bounce-music icon Big Freedia, which became an instant dance-floor hit. With lines about quitting your job, falling in love, and letting go of stress atop an infectious beat, the track has already endeared itself to cash-strapped millennials and become a major contender for song of the summer. The release came just days after Beyoncé announced on 16 June that her new album would be released on 29 July. The album is subtitled "Act I," which she's indicated is just the beginning of a three-part project.

Beyoncé also appeared on the cover of British Vogue the day the album was announced, which she previewed for the magazine's Editor in Chief Edward Enninful. Here's how he described it: "Soaring vocals and fierce beats combine and in a split second I'm transported back to the clubs of my youth. I want to get up and start throwing moves. It's music I love to my core. Music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor, music that touches your soul."

Beyoncé started dropping hints that something big was on the way earlier in June. On 9 June, she deleted the profile images across all of her social media accounts, from Instagram to TikTok. Then on 11 June, two mysterious pages appeared on her official website. If fans searched for 10 June, 11 June, or simply B7, they got a message that said, "What is a B7?" B7 is a reference to the fact that Beyoncé's next album is her seventh solo album.

"Renaissance" is Beyoncé's first solo album since 2016's "Lemonade." But she has been incredibly busy since then. In 2018, she headlined Coachella, and in 2019, she released her film "Homecoming," which chronicled that performance and the journey of its creation. She also released a live album of the performance along with the film.

In 2018, she and her husband JAY-Z also released a collaborative album, "Everything Is Love." And the following year, Beyoncé released "The Lion King: The Gift" soundtrack for the "Lion King" movie. She followed that up with her visual album "Black Is King" in 2020, which she wrote, directed, and executive produced. In 2021, she released the song "Be Alive" for the movie "King Richard." She was nominated for her first Oscar for the song and performed it at the ceremony.

In an August 2021 interview with Harper's Bazaar, Beyoncé first discussed her new music. "With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again," she said. "I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible. I've been in the studio for a year and a half. Sometimes it takes a year for me to personally search through thousands of sounds to find just the right kick or snare. One chorus can have up to 200 stacked harmonies. Still, there's nothing like the amount of love, passion, and healing that I feel in the recording studio. After 31 years, it feels just as exciting as it did when I was nine years old. Yes, the music is coming!"

Beyoncé has yet to announce a "Renaissance" tour, but with an album this grand, it's surely on the way. Ahead, listen to every song on "Renaissance."

— Additional reporting by Victoria Edel and Njera Perkins

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