Is it too early to call album of the year? Well, here it is. Unsurprisingly it is Beyoncé’s (sort of) surprise album Lemonade. What is surprising about it is the subject matter. A heart wrenching detail of what we can only understand is the infidelity of long time husband, Jay Z. All we have to say is if Beyoncé is getting cheated on, good luck to the rest of us. The album begins with eerie ‘Pray You Catch Me’, Beyoncé at her most vulnerable. A chilling start to the album, “You can taste the dishonesty, it’s all over your breath.” For the woman we all call Queen, a strong leader, it’s an unexpected but refreshing start to this new chapter. ‘Hold Up’ is a feel good warning – and then we’re thrown full throttle into bitch mode. “Who the fuck do you think I am? You ain’t married to no average bitch boy.” WELL. It’s the most raw we’ve seen Beyoncé. Nothing like a man pissing you off to bring out the inner psycho in us all. Clever collaborations, too. The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White and James Blake are featured, adding more guts to the album.  The spine tingling brass trumpet that drives ‘Daddy Lessons’, sees the album takes a turn into a deeper realm of musicality – she’s showing off. It all feels very New Orleans. Very American Horror Story. The second half of Lemonade is a personal, intimate look into the battle of forgiveness Beyoncé finds herself fighting. To forgive or not to forgive, that is the question. It’s something relatable, and in the end Beyoncé realises love is too strong. ‘Sandcastles’ presents a heartbreaking ballad and her powerful vocals let us into the most private part of her mind, somewhere we haven’t been before. But it wouldn’t be a Beyoncé album without a fight. Freedom and Formation fight for Black Rights, reminding us that she is still the badass bitch in charge. Heartbreak has only made her stronger. There’s a little bit of everything on this album but all up it’s an anthem. One for the ladies. Here’s to Queen Bey. Anyone else expecting to release an album this year, don’t bother. We’re sorted for 2016.

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