It was just a tranquil Sunday morning in the eastern hemisphere when Beyoncé premieres her short film in HBO and drops her sixth album out of nowhere like a bomb and that tranquil Sunday morning becomes a rambunctiousness. This isn’t the first time Queen Bey pulls such stunt, though. Back in 2013, she decides to release her self-titled album without any prior announcement. But, this time fans have anticipated Beyoncé’s comeback after she dropped aesthetically-written “Formation” last February.
It’s hard to pick the best song from Beyoncé’s latest effort, especially because she explores different sound this time and all songs work out. It’s a departure from darker R&B sound that she imbues in Beyonce, or pop-approach in I Am… Sasha Fierce. This time, she broadens her genre by collaborating with Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Jack White, The Weeknd, James Blake, and many more, while sampling from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Soulja Boy, Led Zeppelin, and Animal Collective. “Hold Up”, the song with the longest credited artists, is the highlight of the album, produced by the queen herself and Diplo.
In “Hold Up”, Beyoncé arguably declares her love with her husband, Jay-Z, an ode but also a warning for him to state where his loyalties are. “Hold up/ they don’t love you like I love you”, she begins the song with a reference from Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps”, presumptuously stating that her love is different and bigger and the rest of “them”. Beyoncé whirls her vocal between Diplo’s laid-back tempo–something that Diplo rarely does. She feels worthless in verse when “I smell your secret, and I’m not too perfect/ To ever feel this worthless”. But after all, Beyoncé is a woman who has a right to be “jealous and crazy”. Listening to “Hold Up” is honestly an uncomfortable experience because it’s like peeping Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s private lives where each of them ping-pongs their feeling in song that they make. But, this is not uncommon thing in a relationship, and Beyoncé who’s brave enough to speak up and sings what she feels is the voice of what some women must go through out there.