Release Date: Apr 17, 2019
Record label: Parkwood
Genre(s): Pop, R&B, Live
Like her marriage-solidifying joint album with hubby JAY-Z, it’s tempting, on the surface, to just give Beyonce’s Homecoming album a perfect 5 rating. If solely to avoid the wrath of the omnipresent “Beyhive,” a faction of the fandom known to invade social media spaces like a pack of Vandals and leave lemon and bee emojis on unsuspecting Instagram photos. That, however, would sell the album extremely short: not only is Homecoming an artistically-sound triumph, it’s a cultural touchstone and, quite possibly, the live album of a generation.
Six solo albums in, six years after the surprise release of her self-titled album, three years after the groundbreaking Lemonade, one year after the rap album she delivered with her husband, and we're starting to get it. We're starting to understand Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as a musician with unparalleled range, depth, and power: acknowledging her rapperly talents, her breathless musical ambition, her ear and eye for synthesis and abiding love for black culture. With the release of Homecoming: The Live Album, the 40-track companion to her headlining sets from last year's Coachella released as a documentary film with Netflix, we glimpse the artist at work during her peak--in voice, physicality, and confidence--reimagining and remixing her own catalog, decentering herself to shine a light on her influences and foundations.
In April 2018, Beyoncé headlined Coachella with an epic performance that would set a new bar for festival spectacle. Arriving a year after her originally scheduled headline slot -- delayed due to the birth of her twins -- the high-stakes show was a triumph. Immortalized alongside its counterpart concert film/documentary, Homecoming: The Live Album is a monument to black excellence and empowerment.