What’s Surprising about Beyoncé’s Latest Album

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Innovation: The act of starting something for the first time; introducing something new; founding, origination, initiation, creation, institution, or introduction.

We all thought Beyoncé and her team were on hiatus, and boom, overnight she brings us new music. Our weekly grind just became easier, huh? Her self-titled album has social media buzzing, with record downloads. Quite simply, its a hit; 400,000 copies sold in under 6 hours.

I’ll be honest. I had a complete attitude. Why? Well, my relationship with Beyoncé could easily be characterized as love/hate. While I identify and admire her sensuality and talent, sometimes I despise what feels inauthentic about her persona. Well, she broke down my walls, and I’m sure thousands of others with this album.

It’s her most raw piece of work. Powerful, impactful, soulful and mature. She is a wife and mother; this is unapologetic
grown-woman music. There is nothing gimmicky or mainstream. Beyoncé is raunchy, descriptive and X-rated. And, you know what, I love it!

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Footage from the video, Drunk In Love

I’m especially feelin’ these lines something serious:

“Then I fill the tub up halfway then ride it with my surfboard.

Surfboard, surfboard…

Graining on that wood, graining, graining on that wood.

I’m swerving on that, swerving, swerving on that big body Benz.

Serving all this, swerve, surfing all of this good, good.”

“Drunk in Love” is definitely the breakout single. I’m sure it is responsible for several hangovers and counter sex. It’s one of my favorites. Your girl is dealing with a headache from injuring herself after attempting to reenact the video.

Blow,” another vivid, sexually-charged song has a classic R&B vibe. Is it me, or is it clear she and her husband, music mogul Jay-Z have a healthy sex life. What’s the result for us? Steamy music with character. She alludes to mild discord in their relationship with  songs like “Jealous,” or the duet with Drake, “Mine.” What relationship is not complicated?

There are other standout tracks for me. The collaboration with Frank Ocean (“I Miss You“) is classic. While her dedication to baby daughter Blue is sweet; so many mothers can relate.

Earlier this year she released “I Been On,” revamped on the album as “Flawless,” where she proclaims herslef Queen of Pop; she tells all of us to “Bow down, bitches!” You all can take that bow; I’ll stand.

You make good music, Beyonce; you have me doing all different kinds of things with it. I play the introduction to “Flawless” featuring Nigerian author and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for my 11-year-old twin girls every morning; the words are intelligent and inspirational.

They tell girls it is ok to be great:

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.

We say to girls you can have ambition, but not too much.

You should aim to be successful, but not too successful,

otherwise you will threaten the man.”

This brings me back to the definition of innovative: a new way. Why is Beyonce so successful? She is ever changing, and thinking of novel ways to perform. She aligns herself with smart, trustworthy people, who genuinely want her to succeed. If something goes wrong, she corrects it. She keeps us on our toes,  or now our surfboards.

Will we sing any of these songs 20 years from now? I’ll let time tell that story. Will I be in my fifties saying: “We woke up in the kitchen, wondering how this shit happened. Oh, baby!” I hope so! I want to write a personal thank you letter for this album.

Hopefully, over the next week you can find some time to listen. Let me know what you think.

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 Live In Color! – Valencia

Ayo – Stunning, Meaningful Music

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Bernard Benant

Music transports us to other worlds. Perhaps it’s why this art form connects so fully to my curious spirit. I am a citizen not merely of America, but the world. Years ago my husband and I discovered Joyful, the first CD from Ayo, a beautiful Nigerian singer; her lyrics echo multiple layers of struggle, joy, longing and pain.

We played songs like “Help is Coming” over and over again. Singing the words loudly, eyes closed, engrossed in her quiet but encouraging voice; always pushing us to choose practical optimism, not accepting defeat. “Help is coming,” she pleaded, “as long as you believe.”

Then I stopped following her work, and moved on to an infatuation with British singers like Amy Winehouse, but Ayo kept producing, releasing other CDs (Gravity at Last, 2008; Billie-Eve, 2011) in that time. This year she offers us Ticket to the World which blog co-editor Shannon calls “freedom music,” rhythms that ignite the soul. I am sharing some of my favorite songs, and catching up on all I missed. Take a listen and enjoy, loves!

Live In Color! – Emelda