13 Feb, 2024

Beyonce announces country-themed "Renaissance Act II" album

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Beyonce announces country-themed "Renaissance Act II" album

In an elaborate series of teaser videos, Beyonce has announced the long-awaited “Act II” of her 2022 “Renaissance” album — and as long rumored, it appears to be a country-leaning album, due March 29.

In the elaborate, self-referencing ad, we see Beyonce scrolling through songs on an iPhone, then at a lemonade stand (referencing her 2016 classic album of the same name), following with a series of plays on her name: “Barbey,” referencing Barbie, “BOTUS,” saying she’ll be the first female president, then the first woman to launch the first rocket for the first woman in space.

Finally, she says, “OK, they ready — drop the new music. I told y’all the ‘Renaissance’ is not over,” she concludes.

A look at Beyonce’s Instagram page reveals the final teaser video, which includes the album title and release date. There is also a billboard and a car license plate that read “Texas Hold ‘Em,” referencing the poker game named after the singer’s home state, and possibly a song title.

A short time after that, two songs appeared on streaming services — first on Tidal, interestingly, since Beyonce and Jay-Z are seated with primary owner Jack Dorsey at the Super Bowl — and they are indeed country-themed. “Texas Hold ‘Em” is almost entirely acoustic guitars, bass drum and vocals, with a chorus that concludes, “It’s a real-live boogie and a real live hoedown, don’t be a bitch just take it to the floor now.”

The second song is called “16 Carriages” and is country-esque on the verses but transforms into an epic, orchestral arrangement on the choruses. Both songs feature contributions from veteran producer Raphael Saadiq, best known for hits with D’Angelo (“How Does It Feel?”) and Beyonce’s sister Solange.

Fans have eagerly been anticipating a new project from Beyoncé, who initially released “Renaissance” in 2022. At the time, she revealed on her website that the album would be the first of a “three-act project.” Rumors circulated that she had recorded both dance and country songs for the set, and it was unclear if the latter would be included on “Renaissance” or as a separate album. The first installment ended up mining heavily from dance and house music, paying homage to the Black queer community and club culture.

Unlike with previous projects where she released accompanying full-length films and music videos, “Renaissance” arrived without visuals, a notable turn for Beyoncé. But she captured the magic of her record-breaking world tour, which grossed $579 million, with the theatrical release of “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” in November, serving as a part-documentary, part-concert film taking viewers behind the scenes of the global trek. Shortly after the movie had its London premiere, Beyoncé released the single “My House,” a callback to her Houston roots.

Source: Variety

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