The “Beyoncé house music era” is here.
The Queen Bey hive mind had been buzzing in anticipation of Renaissance, her first solo studio album since 2016’s Lemonade. And after today’s release, it’s clear that Beyoncé is embracing electronic music like she never has before.
Four-on-the-floor rhythms run roughshod through the album, which growls with the ferocity of a classic Beyoncé record while harkening back to the kaleidoscopic discos of the ’70s. She’s joined forces with a slew of compelling producers for Renaissance, reimagining the rave with an album that has the feel of a deeply influential harbinger for the future of dance music.
Skrillex’s distorted production shines on “ENERGY,” a quirky banger produced in collaboration with The Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, among others. House music luminaries Green Velvet and Honey Dijon contributed to “COZY,” where their sultry drums chug along to Beyoncé’s unapologetic bars. Dijon’s influence is also palpable in “ALIEN SUPERSTAR,” a striking cut that oozes the ethos associated with Beyoncé’s bravado.
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Renaissance also interpolates music by disco legend Donna Summer as well as the fabled electronic music producer and Daft Punk collaborator Giorgio Moroder. Beyoncé samples Moroder in the album’s cathartic closer, “Summer Renaissance.”
“Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world,” Beyoncé said in a press statement. “It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. 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.”
You can listen to Renaissance in full below.