Beyoncé Releases Long-Awaited Seventh Studio Album 'Renaissance', Confirms LP Is a 3-Part Project

Renaissance marks Beyoncé's first solo album in six years, since the 2016 release of Lemonade

Beyoncé fans, rejoice!

The musician, 40, officially released her seventh studio album Renaissance as the clock struck midnight early Friday morning.

Featuring previously released lead single "Break My Soul," which dropped last month, the dance-heavy LP features 15 other tracks: "I'm That Girl," "Cozy," "Alien Superstar," "Cuff It," "Energy" featuring BEAM, "Church Girl," "Plastic Off the Sofa," "Virgo's Groove," "Move" featuring Grace Jones and Tems, "Heated," "Thique," "All Up in Your Mind," "America Has a Problem," "Pure/Honey" and "Summer Renaissance."

In contrast to the ultra-personal material of her previous solo album, 2016's Lemonade, the songs on Renaissance are clearly crafted for dance floors and laden with mainly confident, often sexy lyrics about celebrating your identity and having fun. "Comfortable in my skin / Cozy with who I am / I love myself, goddamn," Beyoncé declares on "Cozy."

However, she seems to reference her relationship with JAY-Z and its rumored turbulence — widely believed to have inspired Lemonade — a couple of brief times throughout the record. "If you keep playing with my heart, boy / I'm just as petty as you are," she sings on "Heated."

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"Plastic Off the Sofa," meanwhile, seems to nod to some of the public's perception of the couple following the confessional album. "We don't need the world's acceptance / They're too hard on me, they're too hard on you, boy," she says in the first verse. "I'll always be your secret weapon in your arsenal, your arsenal."

Beyoncé Releases Long-Awaited Seventh Studio Album Renaissance, Confirms LP Is a 3-Part Project
Beyoncé. Mason Poole

In a message shared ahead of Renaissance's release, Beyoncé revealed the album will be part of a "three-act project."

She wrote: "This three-act project was recorded over three years during the pandemic. A time to be still, but also a time I found to be the most creative. Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world."

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Beyonce Reveals the Cover Art to Seventh Studio Album Renaissance
Renaissance Cover Art. Beyoncé/Instagram

Renaissance marks Beyoncé's first solo album in six years. She previously released 2003's Dangerously in Love, 2006's B'Day, 2008's I Am... Sasha Fierce, 2011's 4, 2013's Beyoncé and 2016's Lemonade.

In 2018, she released the collaborative album Everything Is Love as one-half of The Carters alongside JAY-Z, 52. The following year saw the arrival of The Lion King: The Gift, a soundtrack for Disney's live-action adaptation that featured original music from Beyoncé as well as Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams and other artists.

Beyoncé Releases Long-Awaited Seventh Studio Album Renaissance, Confirms LP Is a 3-Part Project
Beyoncé. Mason Poole

The superstar also released Homecoming: The Live Album in 2019, which went hand in hand with her iconic Coachella performance from the year prior. The LP features live renditions of some of the former Destiny Child member's biggest hits, from the girl group's "Soldier" to "Sorry" from Lemonade.

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Beyoncé Releases Long-Awaited Seventh Studio Album Renaissance, Confirms LP Is a 3-Part Project
Beyoncé. Carlijn Jacobs

Beyoncé surprised fans late last month by revealing the cover art for Renaissance. In the image, the 28-time Grammy-winner is seen sitting atop a silver horse with what appears to be an electric current flowing inside its body. Beyoncé is nearly nude as she wears what looks like a silver, spiked chain that covers her breasts, runs down her stomach and loops back around her backside with matching silver heels. The look is complemented by her long, crimped hair.

"Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving," the "Love on Top" musician wrote on Instagram, showing off the cover art. "My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking."

She continued, "A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration. I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are."

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Beyoncé previously chatted with Harper's Bazaar for its September 2021 cover story, where she touched upon new music.

In the story, she included a "renaissance" mention, telling the publication, "With all the isolation and injustice over the past year [from COVID-19], I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again. I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible."

Beyoncé then told Harper's Bazaar that she had "been in the studio for a year and a half," noting, "Sometimes it takes a year for me to personally search through thousands of sounds to find just the right kick or snare. One chorus can have up to 200 stacked harmonies."

Added Beyoncé: "Still, there's nothing like the amount of love, passion, and healing that I feel in the recording studio. After 31 years, it feels just as exciting as it did when I was nine years old. Yes, the music is coming!"

Renaissance is currently available to purchase and stream.

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