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Beyoncé; Lemonade (Sony)

This album was flash-released a week ago, and continues the theme of ‘surprise’ arrivals of new music by major pop stars. There’s a hitch, however – Lemonade is available only via streaming service Tidal (owned by Beyoncé’s husband) and iTunes. Lemonade unfolds not only song by song, but movie by movie, as the songs are accompanied by videos linked by Beyoncé reading selected works by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire. There’s a lot of intuitively smart and truthful self-knowledge here: feminism, black heritage, fractured relationships, womanhood. Guests and samples filter in and out, but it’s Beyoncé that rides beautifully roughshod over everything – including genre. Class.

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