Beyonce dropped “Break My Soul,” the first single from her upcoming seventh solo studio album “Renaissance,” three hours before the scheduled release time, and it’s the Bey jam fans have been waiting for: A fast dance music with a plinking, relentless hook, a hot beat, and occasional exhortations from Big Freedia, co-produced by the “Single Ladies” combo of Tricky Stewart and The-Dream.
“Release your anger, release your mind/ Release your job, release the time/ Release your trade, release the stress/ Release the love, forget the rest.”
Jay-Z, Adam Pigott (a.k.a. BlaqNmilD, who’s worked with Drake, Quavo, Megan Thee Stallion, and others), Freddie Ross, a.k.a. Big Freedia, and the writers of Robin S’s 1993 hit “Show Me Love,” which is notably sampled in the song, are also listed as writers.
Beyoncé, for one, is sending a message with both her return and the movie’s disco theme: “You won’t break my soul,” the title is inverted, and a statement of intent follows:
“I’mma let down my hair ’cause I lost my mind
Bey is back and I’m sleeping real good at night
The queen’s in the front and the Dom’s in the back
Ain’t taking no flicks but the whole clique snapped.”
It’s filled of dancefloor-friendly lines like “Motivation/ I’m looking for a new foundation/ I’m on that new vibration/ I’m building my own foundation” and an encouragement to “Everybody.”
The song was initially only available on Tidal — the streaming service co-owned by Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z — three hours before its advertised release time of midnight ET, and on Vevo/YouTube an hour or so later, in an apparent dig at big streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Beyonce has a track record of doing this: her 2016 album “Lemonade” was only available on Tidal for three years, costing her millions in streaming royalties.
Beyonce revealed on Thursday morning that her long-awaited album will be released on July 29. According to report, the album will include dance and country-leaning tracks, as well as contributions from hit songwriter Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote her 2008 hit “Halo,” as well as hits for Adele, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, and his own band, OneRepublic.
Raphael Saadiq, who has written songs for Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, and Andra Day, as well as his own superb solo albums, is also believed to be participating. He executive-produced Solange Knowles’ well praised 2016 album “A Seat at the Table.”
It’s unknown whether the country songs will be released as a separate album or as part of the “Renaissance” first edition. The artist is no stranger to country music: “Daddy Lessons,” from 2016’s “Lemonade,” features a lot of twang and was even covered by the Chicks (then known as the Dixie Chicks).
Fans have already deduced that the album would have 16 tracks, and the fact that it is a two-part release is obvious from the fact that it is titled as “Act 1.” Pre-orders for four separate boxed sets for the album, dubbed “Pose” 1-4 and featuring a CD, T-shirt, and box, were also available on Beyoncé’s website. However, given they all arrive on the same day as the record, it’s likely that they’re just different “Act 1” packages.
The singer gave the first sign of trouble earlier this month when she erased her social media accounts, which have yet to be fully repopulated, as evidenced by the paucity of profile images.
Since her blockbuster 2016 album “Lemonade,” Beyoncé has released four albums, none of which are true Beyoncé solo albums: In 2018, she released “Everything Is Love,” a collaboration with husband Jay-Z under the nickname The Carters; in April 2019, she released “Homecoming,” an album of her electrifying 2018 headlining performance at Coachella, for which she was accompanied by a full marching band (which was also released as a $60 million Netflix special).
That summer, she released “The Lion King: The Gift,” a companion album to the Disney film that included several new songs by her — with contributions from Kendrick Lamar, Donald Glover, and others — as well as songs by 070 Shake, Tierra Whack, and African artists such as Burna Boy, Mr. Eazi, Tiwa Savage, and others; a year later, a deluxe edition of the album with three additional tracks was released.