It looks like its house music all summer long. Indie acts like Lion Babe, Azealia Banks, Rochelle Jordan and Dawn Richard have been mixing house and EDM elements into their sound for years now (and have given us some pretty amazing records in the process). Now, with artists like Drake embracing the sound full out on his surprise album Honestly, Nevermind, it seems that dance music is finally going mainstream again. Helping to usher in this wave is Beyoncé, who taps into the house sounds of the 1990s with her anticipated lead single to her recently announced seventh album act i. RENAISSANCE, “Break My Soul.”
“Break My Soul” has two prominent samples going for it: Robin S.‘ “Show Me Love” and Big Freedia‘s “Explode.” Producers Tricky Stewart and The-Dream fuse the two — taking the hypnotic melody of the former and Big Freedia’s commanding rhymes from the latter — with a pulsing rhythm to form the base of the track as Queen Bey crafts a liberation anthem for all those looking to break free.
The singer taps into the public’s need for a change in the song’s lyrics. “Now I just fell in love / And I just quit my job / I’m gonna find new drive / Damn, they work me so damn hard,” she sings as she aligns herself with the recent Great Resignation. “Work by nine / Then off past five / And they work my nerves / That’s why I cannot sleep at night.”
Though the singer has never worked a regular job a day in her life, she channels the frustrations of it perfectly. She also channels the hope of something better as she sings, “I’m taking my new salvation / And I’mma build my own foundation, yeah / ‘Got motivation / I done found me a new foundation, yeah.”
“BREAK MY SOUL” is a commendable effort, even if at times it feels as if Beyoncé is holding back. The song lacks the climax that many good house tracks have (even with the addition of a choir at the song’s end). But if the rumors are true and this album will be the singer’s foray into dance music, we’re sure she’ll give us the moment we’re looking for several times over.
act i. RENAISSANCE is scheduled to impact our ears on July 29th. Until then, get on the floor and jam to “BREAK MY SOUL” when you press play and stick around to sing along to the song’s lyric video.