The voice of De Anza College since 1967

How the Grammys took Queen B’s crown

February 21, 2017

Lloyd “Chuckie” Snyder

 

Screw the Grammys; Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” deserved to win album of the year. Granted, Adele humbly Kanye’d herself and showed Bey the respect she deserved, but in no way did Adele’s “25” deserve to win album of the year over “Lemonade.”

Beyoncé, who started off her solo career with chart topping singles that were merely pop escapism, shows a side of herself in “Lemonade” that she has never previously flaunted.

Her empowering lead single, “Formation,”  tackles the injustices the black community and specifically black women face within our society.
Beyoncé released “Lemonade,” accompanied by a full-length movie and poetry written by Warsan Shire, heightening the overall theme and creating a cinematic counterpart.

“Lemonade” tells the story of a woman suspecting her husband of infidelity and the subsequent process of reconciliation — intertwined through a magnificent blend of all musical genres.

Beyoncé desperately hushes her suspicions in the reggae infused “Hold Up,” — only to finally confront her cheating husband in “Don’t hurt yourself”’s rock anthem climax of seething rage. Later, on “Daddy Lessons,” Beyoncé embraces her country twang and her Texas roots.

The heart-wrenching “Sandcastles” showcases a stripped down and emotionally broken woman realizing the damage she and her counterpart have caused, while “Freedom,” featuring rap icon Kendrick Lamar, courageously tackles the hardships people of color face within society.

In the closing song  “All Night,” Beyoncé finally finds salvation. “With every tear came redemption and my torturer became my remedy;” the song features some of her most beautiful lyrics and her impressive vocals.

Adele’s musical talent is undisputed; however, from a conceptual and creative angle, “25” doesn’t hold the emotional weight or depth of “Lemonade.”

The few daring songs on “25,” are overshadowed by the same generic sob stories that have plagued Adele’s musical career. To put it plainly, “25” is predictable and lacks any semblance of originality or adventurism which could possibly warrant album of the year.

Therein lies the problem with “25;” there is no artistic growth. I want Adele to break free from the monotony and create something original. Otherwise, when I want to listen to songs about heartache, without the formulaic pop frills, I’ll listen to Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse or Fiona Apple.

It is also unfair to criticize Beyoncé for hiring co-writers, when Adele’s “25”, Frank Sinatra’s “Come Dance With Me!,” Taylor Swift’s “1989” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” had extra writing help on their records that went on to win album of the year.

“Lemonade” is  a groundbreaking achievement for Beyoncé, both musically and visually. Following in the footsteps of Lauryn Hill’s “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” and Madonna’s “Ray Of Light,” the album is proof that when a pop diva is ready to get introspective and bring awareness to social issues, great art is made.

She may have lost album of the year to Adele’s “25”, but Beyoncé and her team succeeded in crafting a daring masterpiece that slayed the competition, celebrated black womanhood, and challenged the status-quo of pop music. And, to that I say, “Good job, Bey.”

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