It looks like the Beyhive isn’t the only people living for Lemonade. Read some of our favorite reviews below.
Like much of her music over the last few years, the music on “Lemonade” is not made for pop radio. Besides the explicit language, it doesn’t fit into neat categories and boxes, ranging from R&B to a bit of reggae to rock and even a country twang. Paired with its visuals, it’s also elevated, becoming a work of art that has many layers to be dissected; there may well be dissertations planned on it at this moment.
It all speaks to Beyonce’s undisputed role the queen of pop — not of music, but of culture. It’s hard to imagine any other artist who could drop a project in the middle of our national mourning for Prince and still not only get attention for it, but captivate us so. – Yahoo! Music
Whether or not Lemonade is based on real-life events has been the subject of fevered discussion by forensic Beyoncéologists, who are poring over lyrical references, old gossip-blog items, and Instagram posts in order to suss out the album’s real-life news pegs. But figuring out whatever blind items Beyoncé is laying down (on her husband’s platform, no less) is hardly essential to enjoying this album. Its songs feel fresh yet instantly familiar, over-the-top but intimate, with Beyoncé’s clarion voice serving as the fulcrum for her explorations of sound and the self. – Time
“Lemonade” is the kind of album that a star like Beyoncé (as well as, lately, Rihanna) can release in the streaming era because she’s already guaranteed attention for her every utterance. The album is not beholden to radio formats or presold by a single; fans are likely to explore the whole album, streaming every track and hearing how far afield — a brass band, stomping blues-rock, ultraslow avant-R&B — Beyoncé is willing to go. As she did with her 2013 album, “Beyoncé,” she has also paired the music with full-length video that expands and deepens its impact.
On their own, the songs can be taken as one star’s personal, domestic dramas, waiting to be mined by the tabloids. But with the video, they testify to situations and emotions countless women endure. It’s not a divorce announcement; the singer, songwriter and director is credited as Beyoncé Knowles Carter. – New York Times
On Freedom, and indeed for much of Lemonade, Beyonce sounds genuinely imperious. She’s obviously not the only major pop star willing to experiment and push at the boundaries of her sound: that’s clearly what Rihanna and Kanye West were attempting to do on Anti and The Life of Pablo respectively. The difference is that those albums were at best a bold and intriguing mess: the sense that the artists behind them were having trouble marshalling their ideas was hard to escape. Lemonade, however, feels like a success, made by someone very much in control. “This is your final warning,” she scowls on Don’t Hurt Yourself, “if you try this shit again, you lose your wife.” You rather get the feeling Jay Z should heed those words: on Lemonade, Beyonce sounds very much like a woman not to be messed with. – The Guardian
With this album, Beyoncé is telling us that she’s made it this far in spite of the system in place; you know — the overtly sexist, subtly racist one. She was served lemons. And she made the most fire, refreshing, delectable, thirst-quenching lemonade ever known to man. Actually, scratch that — ever known to woman. – NPR