Beyoncé is back. Tonight, the pop star returns with Renaissance, her first solo album since Lemonade six years ago. She announced it last month with “Break My Soul,” the album’s lone single, and Act I: Renaissance appears to be the start of a much larger project.
The album features writing credits from A. G. Cook, Syd, Skrillex, Drake, BloodPop, Hit-Boy, Nile Rodgers, The-Dream, Jay-Z, and more. “Summer Renaissance” samples Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” and “Alien Superstar” lifts the melody from Right Said Fred’s “I’m So Sexy.” “Energy” samples Kelis’ “Get Along With You,” which Kelis is not happy about. Despite all those names involved, there are only three credited guest features on the album: Beam on “Energy” and Grace Jones and Tems on “Move.”
In a statement posted on her website on Thursday, Bey wrote:
This three act project was recorded over three years during the pandemic. A time to be still, but also a time I found to be the most creative.
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. 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 want to give a special thank you to Rumi, Sir, and Blue for allowing me the space, creativity, and inspiration. And a special thanks to my beautiful husband and muse, who held me down during those late nights in the studio. A big thank you to my Uncle Johnny. He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album. Thank you to all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. This is a celebration for you. Thank you to my Parkwood crew, my slab, Dream, and all of the talented producers involved. Mama, I luhhhh you. To my father, my O.G., my first teacher: You inspire me in every move that I make. I love you.
To all of my fans: 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. Love y’all deep,
She also addressed the album’s early leak in a message tweeted just minutes ago:
So, the album leaked, and you all actually waited until the proper release time so you all can enjoy it together. Ive never seen anything like it. I cant 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. Thank you for your unwavering support. Thank you for being patient. We are going to take our time and Enjoy the music. I will continue to give my all and do my best to bring you joy.
I Love You Deep
Listen below, and we’ll have more on Renaissance tomorrow.
Renaissance is out now via Columbia / Parkwood.