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I Finally Bought Lemonade And Here’s My GIF Review Of Each Song

It's been 18 months. This was long overdue.

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Eighteen long, grueling months have passed since Beyoncé surprise-released Lemonade in April 2016 and shattered the world as we know it (or so I've heard).

It’s here, a year and a half after Lemonade's fateful drop, that I find myself still unexposed to the wonders of Queen Bey.

Yes, that’s right. It’s November 2017, and I still haven’t heard Lemonade. Save your astonishment! I could fill a Superdome-sized trough with the sea of Lemonade shade (Lemoshade?) I’ve endured from my more Bey-woke acquaintances.

@JLauing @TheRealKSD @heyitsfranklin2 @ConnorFinnegan @B_Delos This is a disgrace

@JLauing @TheRealKSD @B_Delos @ConnorFinnegan

I’m used to it. I embrace it. I’m The Guy Who Hasn’t Heard Lemonade™. It’s my personal brand.

@B_Delos @JLauing @heyitsfranklin2 @ConnorFinnegan JACOB JUST BUY IT ALREADY

I won’t dare dip my toes into the music streaming debate, but my reason for ignoring Lemonade is pretty simple: I don’t have Tidal and didn’t fancy paying $17.99 for music in a world where most of it comes (relatively) free. I never felt compelled (or desperate) enough to download it illegally somewhere.

But something came over me this week. The time has come. I’m taking my 18 bucks usually reserved for vegetables (what's a proper diet without Lemonade?) and I’m giving this album — nay, this iconic multimedia experience — a go.

So here is my track-by-track recap of Lemonade, where I’ll examine each song, give it a GIF review and hopefully exonerate myself for waiting this long.

Note: This review won't factor in the visual album. Baby steps, guys. I'll watch that in 2018 or something.


1. Pray You Catch Me

Holy shit, OK. I’m here for this. I get it. I understand now. This song is damn lovely. I have chills.

2. Hold Up

Don’t love the song itself, but man, can this woman do some incredible things with her voice.

3. Don't Hurt Yourself (feat. Jack White)

^me, during the whole song. As a Big Rock 'n' Roll Guy, I’m all about this. Bluesy. Groovy. Angry AF.

I’m a bit tired of the “this album is great because it’s genre-bending” trope (IT'S 2017. WE DON’T DEFINE THINGS), but I’ll admit it — Beyoncé nails it. Her voice is more versatile than I realized.

It’s only track 3 and I’m on board.

4. Sorry

Sorry, this song really doesn’t do it for me, but I can appreciate a good clapback anthem. Cheers to putting those middle fingers up.

5. 6 Inch (feat. The Weeknd)

I spent the first half of “6 Inch” looking up dancing GIFs of The Weeknd, which I found more entertaining than actually listening to the first half of “6 Inch.” Luckily, the bridge bops hard and saves me from completely forgetting this song.

Wait, does the Weeknd only get one chorus? Wtf kind of a crime is that. Ugh here’s a GIF of him on fire, just for good measure.

6. Daddy Lessons

Alright, last two songs had me doubting this album. And now we’re back to more “genre-bending.” If we’re being honest, I’d MUCH rather see Beyoncé dabble in country than listen to most of the country music on the radio these days.

Her vocal prowess took a back seat on the last two tracks, but makes a forceful return here. This is what I signed up for. This works for me.

Consider my faith restored.

7. Love Drought

Production is mighty slick, probably my favorite instrumental on the album. I’m hooked from the first five seconds, but still just waiting for the beat to drop…..

…….and there it is. During those two minutes and 38 seconds of beat-less anticipation I started reading the lyrics and — knowing the context of the album — I’m really feeling B here.

This song is a winner.

8. Sandcastles

This feels like the heartbeat of Lemonade. I was waiting for Bey to drop a power ballad and she didn’t disappoint.

9. Forward (feat. James Blake)

I could listen to James Blake sing Fox News headlines and I’d still bask in that frothy falsetto. For some reason it made me think of this Gosling GIF, in all its hair-flippin glory.

It's moody. It's precise. It's taking one last look at a lost love so it can move — wait for it — forward.

10. Freedom (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

I want to be critical. I want to believe that every song Kendrick touches doesn’t automatically turn to gold. His verse is brilliant, but I think Beyoncé is one of the only artists who could truly outshine Kendrick, which she does here. This song “slaps,” even without King Kendrick.

Still makes me want to stick my head out the window like Mr. Duckworth, though.

Side note: Is it now a requirement for all dope albums to have sound bites/voicemails of wise humans? Solange ("A Seat at the Table"), Kendrick ("good kid, m.A.A.d city") and Frank Ocean ("Blonde") have all checked that box, if you're keeping score at home.

11. All Night

An uplifting note after a tumultuous journey, a reward well-earned for both Beyonce and the listener. This feels like the most complete, easily-digestible song on the record.

I dig it.

12. Formation

To give you an idea of my Bey-ignorance, someone put this song on in the car a few weeks ago and I had no idea who sang it. BUT LOOK AT ME NOW GUYS!

Formation isn't quite up my alley, but I have no problem calling it — as the kids are saying — an absolute banger.

And that's it!

Wow! Already done! Just like that, my Lemonade virginity is gone, traded for a mere $17.99 to the iTunes Gods (enjoy it, guys).

So, to summarize: I get it. I understand why this album matters to so many people, why it’s so critically acclaimed. Beyoncé’s vulnerability is captivating. She takes listeners on a turbulent journey of self-discovery, a search for her own self-worth and a test of faith. She celebrates her femininity and cultural heritage, dishing out empowering anthems for both. By Lemonade's end, I had felt Beyoncé's pain and perseverance. I couldn’t help it. I struggled as she struggled, and gained a greater appreciation for what she's been through.

Musically, I don’t love every song on Lemonade, but the eclecticness works well for a listener like me, someone poorly-versed in pop music, looking for other styles to grasp onto.

I don’t see Lemonade becoming my go-to subway soundtrack. But if I hear it again — at a party or in a car — I’ll watch others rejoice and I’ll finally know why.

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