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Renaissance review roundup: Critics celebrate Beyoncé’s ‘unfettered’ liberation in newest album

‘‘Renaissance’ suggests a proud comeback for the empress of self-worth,’ writes Mark Beaumont

Beyonce world tour teaser

Beyoncé’s highly anticipated album Renaissance has been released today (29 July) to overwhelming praise from critics who feel its dancy soulful beats allude to a “proud comeback”.

The new LP is the 40-year-old singer’s seventh studio album. It features 16 tracks, including the lead single “Break My Soul”.

This album is the first instalment of a “three act project” and includes contributions from Jay-Z, 070 Shake, Drake, Tems and more.

Renaissance is Beyoncé’s first solo studio album since 2016’s Lemonade, in which she tackled topics such as infidelity, Black womanhood, and forgiveness.

However, where Lemonade “spoke to her broken mindset in the wake of discovering the existence of Becky with the good hair, the title and sleeve of her seventh album, Renaissance, suggests a proud comeback for the empress of self-worth,” said The Independent’s Mark Beaumont.

“That there are spots of filler on the first hour of Beyonce’s new trilogy suggests we’re in for indulgence,” he added. “But that there are brisk bangers and Lemonade-like leaps of genre too bodes well for Beyonce’s defiant emotional renaissance.”

USA Today’s Melissa Ruggieri agreed, adding that “Beyoncé knows there is no need to make apologies. Not that she ever felt that way, but now, she is completely unfettered.”

Beyoncé in artwork for her new album ‘Renaissance’

Similarly, NME’s Kyann-Sian Williams felt, that Renaissance “marks the sound of an artist refreshed”.

“It positions Beyoncé as a diva entering her Whitney Greatest Hits era,” wrote Pitchfork’s Julianne Escobedo Shepherd. “Having conquered virtually every other genre, it’s high time for body music.”

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“Touted as Act I of a confirmed trilogy, Renaissance falls short of being Beyoncé’s best full-length, but it still fulfils her liberationist aims,” argued The Guardian’s Tara Joshi. “Her sense of freedom throughout is palpable, and an infectious spur to action.”

Meanwhile, fans have lauded Renaissance as Beyoncé’s “album of the f***ing year”.

Read The Independent’s full four-star review here.

Renaissance is available to stream now.

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