the house Renaissance

rubberdingyrapids

Well-known member
the gantman mix of check on it is better than most of this album. Grace jones sounds groggy and of uncertain intent. But all up in your mind is a next level pop song. Ag cook was involved With that one i think. I quite like this album in a throwaway beyoncekind of way but charli xcxx is more interesting than beyonce tbh. How im feeling Now was a bit of an avant pop masterpiece.
 

blissblogger

Well-known member
That's indeed wild. A quick scan of Spotify plays shows her 2000s and early 2010s albums would regularly put out a single with 1B+ plays, and then several more with half a bil each. Lemonade peaks at a quarter bil, and her albums since then, significantly less.

Do you reckon her lean toward critical acceptability has come at the cost of proper mass appeal? Or that she & her team saw the writing on the wall, an inevitable expiration date for all pop stars, & decided to pivot? Or just chance, no meaningful connection between them?

Probably a shrewd move, for a second act of a career. There's a kind of ascendancy you can achieve through discourse and chatter. where your releases are Events. And then there's then popularity in the sense of being played a lot and people getting casual use-value out of your music. Sometimes the two can coexist. Beyonce probably had both for a good while, but then she realized, or found out, that she could stay on top through the former - being talked about - rather than being an omnipresent part of people's listening lives.

At a certain point, Beyonce as Public Figure becomes the point of her pop stardom as much as the music. The pop consumer consumes her Next Move as an idea, a twist in a narrative, far more than the actual substance of the move itself.

Beatles and Bowie both had that going on, but it seems to have become more and more common amongst top level pop stars- Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift... You don't want to just be played and enjoyed on the level of functionality, you want to be discussed, monitored, analysed.

I read pop reviews and they'll largely be an analysis of the career moves to date, the persona shifts. Taylor Swift did that video that was all about all the different "Taylor Swifts" so far.

There's stars who don't do that and it's really just about their reliable functionality - like Rihanna. I don't think there's much of a career narrative as such, maybe a little soap opera in terms of her private-public life.
 
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rubberdingyrapids

Well-known member
Probably a shrewd move, for a second act of a career. There's a kind of ascendancy you can achieve through discourse and chatter, and then popularity in the sense of being played a lot and people getting casual use-value out of your music - and sometimes the two can coexist.

At a certain point, Beyonce as Public Figure becomes the subject of the music as much as anything else. The pop consumer consumes her Next Move an idea, a twist in a narrative, as much as the actual substance of the move itself.

Beatles and Bowie both had that going on, but it seems to have become more and more common amongst top level pop stars- Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift... You don't want to just be played and enjoyed on the level of functionality, you want to be discussed, monitored, analysed.

I read pop reviews and they'll largely be an analysis of the career moves to date, the persona shifts. Taylor Swift did that video that was all about all the different "Taylor Swifts" so far.

There's stars who don't do that and it's really just about their reliable functionality - like Rihanna. I don't think there's much of a career narrative as such, maybe a little soap opera in terms of her private-public life.
Beyonce is also now middle aged.
So this album inevitably also has a bit of a mum dance vibe about it.
She knew she couldn't rely on competing with the dua lipas and doja cats forever. Even if this album isnt that far from their dance dabbling. Tbh the main issue with the album is that it thinks just cos dance music is fun that you can be casual about it. Doesnt have the same care put into it as her last two albums.
 

suspended

Well-known member
The Swift stuff—the Netflix docu, the "Taylor's Version" parentheticals, the Bon Iver collab & photoshoot in the woods—has always felt so contrived, a high school sophomore's vision of "indie" and "authenticity," like teenage stardom has kept her permanently neotenous

Which, if it's a crime in the pop world, is a crime because she's "one war behind"—doesn't she know it's cool to lean into artifice, again? Maybe I'm not giving her credit, sometimes the Fool who appears one step behind is really a step ahead
 

version

Well-known member
She can also be a truly terrible lyric writer for such a key figure in modern pop. but then i guess that is just this era.

There's no way of knowing whether she even writes them tbh. There seem to be hundreds of people involved when you get up to that superstar level. I'm looking at the tracklisting and 'Alien Superstar' alone has 24 credited writers.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
This at least tries to put the hyperbole In context


But even so i think web journalism cant resist hivemind hyperbole, esp not when it concerns Beyonce
that's a reasonable summary of the context. I've made the same exact points about disco, house, etc to people here (the U.S. I mean, not dissensus) a million times, especially being from and living in Chicago. and I'm sure for the target audience - Vox readers who know very little about dance music but are sympathetic to championing unfairly ignored

but Beyonce as the instrument to redress that ignorance is ridiculous. I'm pretty certain she'd say so herself.

it's an awful lot closer to Madonna's (complicated) relationship with house - and before that, post-disco NY - and the vogue/ballroom scene

less exploitative, but the same aging pop superstar makes dance music influenced dance-mom record to stay relevant vibe

which isn't the worst thing. I mean idk what I've heard is pretty mediocre but it's not like morally bad.

but people all over pop music have been introducing dance music elements - including classic house, garage, and even ardkore-type rave music (the softer, more post-Italo house end like the Rachel Wallace releases on Subbase, but still) - into American top 40 for idk 5 or 10 years at least. I don't pay close attention to pop but even just from what I hear at the gym and otherwise diegetically I could tell you that.

and that's not even counting hyperpop etc, which has been existing and innovating in an extremely queer space at the exact intersection of dance and pop for again, like a decade. I see someone mentioned Charli XCX above, but I'm also about hyperpop qua hyperpop i.e. Ayesha Erotica.

not that I'm expecting idk whatever music journalism is these days to do anything besides try to generate clicks out of Beyonce content, what else can they do really
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Madonna was also a person who extended her cultural relevance well past being relevant as pop

so did Bowie

and Michael Jackson. and Elvis (did have that late 60s comeback tbf).

once you reach that very highest level of pop stardom it doesn't matter what you do musically. and presumably you have all the usual problems of trying to remain creatively inspired and retain your judgment on what is/isn't good when you're so insulated and isolated from normal day-to-day life.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
Great conflating merits with American patriotism. Might as well bomb the iraqis with that way of thinking cos they have nothing of merit and are country bumpkins. ffs.

all of this circumlocutory prose and conflation of Americanness and seriousness just not to say the homophobia word. Critics are another kind of trip. Face it, your country has a lot of backwards weirdos. I'm Kurdish, I'm not one to speak. the first honour killings took part in the Kurdish community in GB. But at least I look reality in the face. and believe me it is distasteful. I joke about asiatic barbarian hordes and all on here but there are some seriously fucked up stuff i have had to confront whilst remaining shtum.

fuckin' chickenshits man.
 

pattycakes_

Can turn naughty
There's something very alienating about observing the process of an album like this being released. The way the machinery clicks into place and performs its role. You're watching this colossal performance that extends far beyond the artist themselves.

Illuminati connex help, whaddayagonnado
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
the really important question here is

who else is in the dance-mom canon besides Beyonce and Madonna?

surely Gaga will get there eventually but she's currently in her serious actress phase - so Madonna ca. early-mid 90s - which suggest it'll be another decade or so

Britney is kinda off on her own trip and none of her contemporaries - Christina Aguilera et al - really have the stature. dance-mom demands stature.
 
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