I wouldn’t necessarily call myself part of the Beyhive, though my lady being as much of a fan as she is kind of makes me Beyhive adjacent? Nonetheless, I saw the news that we’d get the first cut from the Beyoncé-curated The Lion King soundtrack and I had every intention to listen. Aside from the obligation I feel as a journalist, it’s new content from the Queen.
We’ve been sitting with HOMECOMING: THE LIVE ALBUM for some months now, but the hype surrounding this movie plus its cast made this release a bit more anticipated in my eyes. “Spirit” did not disappoint. Admittedly, I felt chills throughout the song.
From the traditional opening chants to her soothing vocals throughout the first verse building up to the huge, resounding chorus. The rhythmic piano keys, thumping drums, and accompanying vocalists give just the right boost to make this feel like a true production. Not just a song, but a theatrical anthem. I listen and feel uplifted. The world feels just a bit more conquerable with each fleeting second of the four-minute, 37 second Labrinth and Ilya production. Disney is lucky.
My favorite part may be the end where Bey just totally flexes the falsetto. I understand the concept of subjectivity, but what this woman can do with her vocal cords is beyond remarkable. I don’t see how one objectively says anything negative about her singing abilities. Her tone is powerful as always, but the easy shift between pitches leaves me at a loss. How do you go from an emphatic “Stand up and fight!” to a comforting “Walk into a foreign land and be one with the great I Am”? Well, you don’t. Neither do I. Leave it to Bey.
What does this single do besides make me dig into my brain for adequate adjectives to describe this performance? Oh, it also creates a lot more excitement for the project. Not just for myself but other Hive adjacent members, and of course their girlfriends who are likely crying tears of joy after hearing their GOAT’s voice. What hasn’t been golden that has been touched by Mrs. Carter? I can’t trust you if you actually try and answer that.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride Beyoncé takes us on with new single “Spirit.” It’ll lift yours. And please leave Hov alone, he doesn’t deserve the photo edits. Even though I laughed a bit. Sorry JAY-Z. The song will make it better.
Originally published at https://kazimagazine.com on July 10, 2019.