Classifying Beyonce’s massive discography of music into any specific genre is a mostly fruitless exercise (which didn’t stop us from trying in 2020) because the versatile star is constantly evolving and experimenting, refusing to be kept to just one box or genre. That musical dabbling will apparently continue on her upcoming new album Renaissance; Variety reports that the album will see Beyonce leaning more heavily into the country direction she flashed on her last full-length album Lemonade in 2016, as well as incorporating more “dance” music — although that’s a broad category which could figure in a lot of musical directions.
A source familiar with the album says that Bey has tapped Ryan Tedder, whose past contributions to her oeuvre included the angelic “Halo,” and neo-soul demigod Raphael Saadiq, who deserves far more credit for both his production work and his own extensive catalog. Since the surprise announcement for the album labeled the collection due on July 29 “Act 1,” that could be an indication that the album will either be released in parts or will be a “multi-disc” affair, in which case the songs could be organized by similar sounds.
In British Vogue‘s cover story about the album, editor-in-chief Edward Enninful describes being “transported back to the clubs of my youth,” which suggests a possible house, ball culture-inspired sound — which would be timely, since drag is enormous right now, with all kinds of artists tapping the sound of the underground subculture. It’s also big on television thanks to competition shows like Legendary on HBO Max. In any case, this is all just speculation until the album actually drops, but one thing is for sure: The Beyhive will be going crazy ’til then and Beyonce remains one of the biggest stars on the planet.