How NOT to write about music – 98. Beyoncé

Beyoncé Lion King

Bow down bitches, bow down. It’s Beyoncé.

David Quantick writes: I like Beyoncé’s Lion King album a lot, but also wish other stars would re-purpose Disney soundtracks to be about themselves. Kanye West’s Bambi would be harrowing.

The entire Lion King soundtrack is astonishing. I know, because I listened to its entirety on the way in to work this morning. It was astonishing enough to block out the fact I’d dropped the jelly part of my homemade pâté sandwich on the floor, just close enough to the person opposite’s sandal that I could not pick it up nor could I stop the inevitable slide toward treading in it. It’s like she actually cares about what she’s doing. The album is even more astonishing for the fact that – as Beyoncé tells it – I fully buy into the story, whereas in reality I do not want to go within a thousand miles of the new animated version (nor have I seen the original). It’s enough for me to lose myself within the goosebumps and trills and surprises and uncovered territory and hints of non-white supremacy, and rhythmic twists, pious sermonising and untrammeled joy. Never patronising. So much to keep rediscovering.

I do not want to dissect, discuss Beyoncé, or her music. I do not want to be that critic sat at a bar pretending that on any level I am the equal of the artist. I do not want to dispel the magic. I often tell my students then when I step on stage – i.e. when I stand up to start another class – I picture myself walking down the steps, performing the intro to ‘Crazy In Love’.  That’s what I aspire to, anyway. There’s a swagger. An insouciant joy. My love for Beyoncé’s music goes way beyond that though, keeps changing and mutating with the times. Homecoming was mind-blowing enough. This new one is pure magic, especially considering the source material. I want to be Beyoncé, not to know her or write about her. Simply be her.

I rarely feel this way.

If ever.

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