Beyoncé loves performing with her Beyhive. Never one to say too much, she communicates through clues, leaving a little breadcrumb trail to loyal fans. Here’s everything we know so far about his first solo album in seven years, Renaissance.
It’s above all a dance record
In British voguecover interview with the queeneditor Edward Enninful became one of the very first people to experience the new album, describing “soaring vocals and fierce beats” that transported him “to the clubs of his youth” at the end of the 80s and 90s. The filming that accompanied it represented a kind of club kid fantasiareferencing the 70s (the cover art is a nod to Bianca Jagger’s Studio 54 arrival on horseback), plus the “90s garage scene [and] The excess of the 80s. Expect parallel notes of “retro-futurism” in “music that will bring so many people together on the dance floor, music that touches your soul”.
The date is set, although there’s a chance you’ll hear it sooner
First announced by Tide, Renaissance will be released on July 29, the first time since 2013’s self-titled visual album that Beyoncé has given advance notice of a release. The record’s lead single, “Break My Soul,” was supposed to drop June 21 at midnight EST, but it was actually dropped three hours earlier on Tidal. Could it be the same for the full album?
“Break My Soul” is a taste of what’s to come
The album’s sixth track, “Break My Soul,” uses two outtakes: Robin S’s classic ’90s house “Show Me Love,” and Big Freedia’s bouncy anthem “Explode.” It was produced by The-Dream (who helped create three of Beyoncé’s biggest hits, “Single Ladies”, “Partition” and “Flawless”), while Jay-Z is credited as writer. With rumors that Honey Dijon has produced at least two titles, we’re sure to have more house music that proudly appeals to its black queer roots. And with Beyoncé’s mystery Renaissance sets each named “Pose” – from Pose 1 to Pose 4 – also expect more leads to navigate the house.
There are 16 tracks, with more to come
Beyhive sleuths were the first to discover that on Apple Music, the envelope of the Renaissance The album page featured 16 unnamed tracks, again confirmed on its iTunes pre-order page. But as Beyoncé’s announcement named Renaissance as “I do the deed”, this may just be the beginning, with rumors that a double album is on the way.
Dates are meaningful
“Break My Soul” was intentionally released to align with the summer solstice on June 21 and marks the beginning of a “new era with new anthems”, as reported Fork. But there’s another significant date the song’s release coincides with: Bey’s heartbreaking debut album. Dangerously in love was released on June 20, 2003, thanks to which she quickly became the queen of pop and R&B, and dabbled in country and rap. Looks like she could close that chapter and become the queen of the dance anytime soon.
The album took two years of sleepless nights
Enninful describes how “creation was a long process…with the pandemic giving him a lot more time to reflect and rethink every decision.” His mother Tina Knowles confirmed in a entertainment tonight interview that Beyoncé put “two years of love” into the record, with “many nights, all night working”.
She’s ready to break new boundaries, again
Beyoncé invented the visual album with Beyonce (although she probably did it even earlier, with her 2006 album B’Day, for which she released a DVD with videos for all 13 titles). It seems that this time around, she is turning to pioneering new musical experiences through virtual reality, too. She would work with Jay-Z-backed Space Labs, which is developing technology for the Metaverse, and The Wave, which creates interactive and immersive live music experiences.