Lemonade: A Black Woman’s Diary
The Lemonade album was released this year on vinyl and this collection of songs, along with the visual album, will go down as one of the greatest albums of all time. The album explores paradoxes between dark and light, fire 🔥 and water 💦, positive and negative, life and death, and, love and hate. It explores the journey of black women as mothers, sisters, daughters and accomplished individuals who quite often go unrecognized for their achievements. Stunning visuals capture struggles of black women in America in a calculated yet somehow organic way. Rewatching the Lemonade video with an analytical eye to write this review, a better understanding and appreciation was gained. It’s kinda like reading a book the second time around and realizing you missed half the story the first time.
The collection of songs explore different genres of music, but like pieces to a puzzle each unique section comes together creating a masterful work of art. Pray You Catch Me is haunting, melancholy, dark and vulnerable as if someone is in mourning for what was, or what could be. Don’t Hurt Yourself is undeniably rock music with heavy drums, bullhorn, grunge graffiti visuals summoning anger, revenge and being a hair trigger away from ending a relationship. Daddy Lessons is a country song with an upbeat melody with trumpets 🎺 and heavy guitar 🎸 strings that explores how daddy issues can resurface in the mate one chooses. All Night feels like a pop rock song with R&B elements that chronicles a relationship trying to rebuild a broken foundation and come to a place of reconciliation. Lemonade is vulnerable yet bold. The album has elements of jazz, funk, trap, bounce, country, rock, soul and R&B. In a nutshell Lemonade is everything we wanted and needed rolled up in one album.
Viewing the visual album through the lense of a black woman was like looking in a mirror. The imagery of tall fields and outhouses conjure a time when black men and women worked the land just to survive as slaves and later sharecroppers. There were also still shots of black women frozen like statues taking us back to when we were to be seen but not heard. The use of water was masterful, diving through, walking on water and surviving the devastation of a natural disaster. Lemonade explored the feeling of being invisible and taken for granted. Though this work somehow still manages to celebrate the differences that make us beautiful from the way we move to the way we wear our hair. Whether it’s afros or cornrows, straight or curly, long or short, braids or dreads, hats or scarves, we are all beautiful. Our accomplishments are often edited out of history books. So to that little black girl with the jewelry box that plays the melody from Swan Lake (tips hat to Misty Copeland), know that even impossible dreams come true!