Priya: My first reaction was that this album as a whole is like a soundtrack to all the stories I’ve heard and witnessed growing up from the women around me about relationships and marriages, purely because as a whole concept it covers the spectrum of emotions, and the up and downs, and those Warsan Shire lines are SPOT ON.
I don’t think it’s new for Beyonce to talk about infidelity, anger, heartbreak, etc., but this time she took it to a much more realistic place. Usually she’s always been the woman we project our alter egos on to, whether that’s feeling ourselves in or out of a relationship, or after a breakup. But this time it felt more aligned with things we’ve already heard real women say. This was the first time I saw myself and the women who have shaped me reflected in her music in a far more authentic way.
Jade I agree, we’ve heard this narrative before, but it’s a lot more raw this time. I don’t know if I like that though. I like Beyoncé being this polished, alter ego superwoman dream. Now I’m like damn, it’s really hard for all of us isn’t it – even Beyoncé.
Pri But that in itself for me is so powerful and important because it’s like, wow, okay even Beyonce was cheated on. I think she still shows that superwoman strength and resilience, and that extends to all the woman she celebrates throughout. BUT it shows her vulnerability and humanity. Every woman I know is a combination of both of those things.
Edi Why do you think she chose to share this with us? She could easily have just kept this whole thing to herself, and kept projecting the superwoman image. Why put something clearly so raw, painful, and complex out there for everyone to see? Even though she is Beyonce?
Pri I think part of it is that she’s evolving as an artist and pushes the bar higher every time. The biggest way for her to grow for me was lyrically. I agree, I think it would have been very easy for her to go about business as usual. She has always managed to create ‘relatable’ music that become anthems but they’re never so autobiographical. I think this record makes the point that this story goes beyond her individual life. This album was specifically for black women and celebrates them in a way that pop music continually fails to do. It’s hugely important to see her go through that process of blaming herself, and then trying to go back and heal because a lot of people never make it through that whole process and come out the other side to a better place.
Sophie I agree, she might be Beyoncé but she’s also every other woman ever, and femininity and womanhood are the same for everyone. And I’ve never been the biggest beyonce fan (apologies): I liked her but wasn’t in love because I didn’t like the whole perfect on a pedestal superwoman, it felt contrived. Now I bow down for she is the one and only.
Jade I like the superwoman image, but she definitely needed to develop and become more relatable. I feel like Kanye, for example, is struggling because he is no longer relatable
Edi I have to agree with Jade here, but partly because Beyonce really only appeals to me on a musical level. I’ve never tried to relate to her, or turn her into my superwoman.
Sophie It’s not that I disliked it! It was just so far away, so unrelatable. So when she was all independent women, confidence etc, it felt like well OK yeah you can feel that incredible because you’re Beyonce, you are incredible. But it felt empty to try to flog that to me, with my split ends and chapped lips
Eva I love it though… I don’t love it like I’m obsessed with it. I listened to it whilst I was cooking yesterday but I didn’t feel the need to listen on repeat all day. The last beyonce album that made me do that was I am…Sasha Fierce though
**We didn’t really discuss Pray you Catch Me, as we agreed it was more of an introduction to the overall themes of the album.**
(Denial) “I tried to change, closed my mouth more, tried to be soft, prettier, less awake.“
Pri In the poetry for this, the images she brings up are like swallowing a sword, not eating, levitating, bathing in bleach, etc. They’re all ugly, extreme and violent things she did to herself. Our first reaction is to look internally for faults when we sense something is wrong, and too often we self-destruct in the process and call that a solution. Also, the thought of Bey trying to be prettier makes me want to crawl back into the womb and start again in all honesty.
Jade The plugging my menses with the holy book line 😱 . I loved the bat though.
Sophie The dress is a perfect example of her powers: her style is ten steps ahead of anything anyone else could hope to do. I thought the baseball bat image was a bit heavy handed
Edi I think the poetry and the way in which it was used was fairly Year 9/10 level to be honest. It didn’t exactly require any supernormal powers of deduction. It was just as heavy handed to me as her baseball bat and over-the-top dress.
Pri I think the poetry has to be relatively easy to access given the scope of her audience. The baseball bat thing worked with the music though, I thought. It was all this violence, but because it was in total contrast with the beat…it was unsettling, because you know she isn’t even angry yet. Like, you know shit is about to go down hahaha.
Sophie I loved the imagery! I agree with Edi, the poetry is not subtle, but nothing about this is. I think the poetry suits the whole saturated, supernatural, heavy history, New Orleans feel perfectly – the poetry is one facet of the whole.
Eva I loved how poetic the whole thing was. Hold Up is a great song to sing along to by the way: nice (but short) use of lower register.
(Anger) “The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”
Sophie So this is maybe one of my favourites, I think musically it’s so much more my kind of thing but also I think it’s a good example of Beyonce not only evolving musically, but just taking risks and upping her game considerably. When it first started and I heard that drum beat, and that screechy distorted vocal, I thought “this feels like Jack White should be on this” and he fucking is! That is seamless to me. And again the feel of the shot, it’s like a documentary, the light is perfect.
Eva Beyonce has dabbled in the rocky sound before on stage and in collaborations with other people. When I heard it my immediate reaction was “this is Ring the Alarm levels of anger – love!” Also, THAT GREY OUTFIT WITH THE FUR – give me.
Pri This song is one of my favourites – it’s anger. I love how she speaks with total entitlement the whole time: she isn’t an emotional wreck, she’s still pure fire. Everything she says is still composed. It’s extreme but not at the same time. I think it’s also telling that I love the angry half of the album more than the latter hahaha.
The part when she says “Why can’t you see me, everyone else does,” really stuck with me. it doesn’t matter that none of us are Beyonce – we all have that longing to be valued and seen in all our glory. It hits harder here because she arguably is this hypervisible figure, and yet she faces that same feeling. For me, this is the turning point where we see that it’s not about your own personal shortcomings, it says more about the other person. “When you hurt me, you hurt yourself”.
I honestly feel like I’m going to turn 80 and still be getting my life from those first 4 lines. She truly dragged Jay-Z on this, “Watch my fat ass twist boy” – I was like Blue Ivy cover your ears/ take notes.
Sophie No you’re completely right, she’s not in any way ashamed or demeaned by everything she feels, it just makes her stronger. More entitled, more demanding. And she’s reminding disbelievers like me that she’s a black woman like any other, which I found hard to believe before.
Eva “God is God and I am not.” This is what I mean by the visuals and the songs: if you just hear the song, you don’t get that quote. You don’t get the emotional subtitles.
Jade I was like “Is this for real? Jay z did you sign off on this?”
This album definitely has to be watched to be understood fully, but I have to stress that I don’t love it. Yeah it’s telling a story, and yeah it’s important and relevant and really raw and real, but I’m not going to put it on repeat. It’s not really an “upper.” It’s an album to make you feel, which is not my preference. I feel enough on my own.
(Apathy) “So what are you gonna say at my funeral now that you’ve killed me? Here lies the body of the love of my life, whose heart I broke without a gun to my head.”
Pri Ummm SERENA WILLIAMS. Also I will be quoting the following for the rest of 2016:
* ASHES TO ASHES, DUST TO SIDECHICKS
* STOP INTERRUPTING MY GRINDING.
At this point, I was like “am I watching a livestream of her divorce announcement?”
Jade Serena slayed. This is a banger, I listened to it on the way to work and I’m having a great day. This is one of the few that I will have on repeat.
Eva This is a banger, with one or two great lines (not loving use of N word but OK). The video makes this for me. That “becky with the good hair” line is causing some ruckus on Twitter as well I hear (not that I particularly care). So what do you think about what I can only describe right now as “cultural blending”?
Edi I was intrigued by the tribal-esque make-up, but why is it blending when Beyonce does it? Why not use the word everyone uses when anyone else does it? She’s not from an African or South American tribe that I’m aware of.
Eva I’m not saying its blending when she does it and appropriation when everyone else does. There is something very deliberate about it that I’m interested in. I’m not trying to give it a new name. There are specific cultures that she is showcasing throughout the album. I didn’t necessarily get the use of the painted faces in this, other than aesthetic.
Jade The first thing I said when I started watching this was “Wow racial vibes.”
Edi She wasn’t showcasing anything in my opinion. She didn’t indicate the cultural origins or mention those who wear the makeup as their own tribal/national symbol. To her, it was just makeup, but to someone else it means something. If it had been anyone else, there would be a hue and cry. I don’t think what she’s done is a bad thing at all, and I think the term cultural appropriation is lazy to begin with. But if people are going to use it, this is what they mean. To me it’s saying, this is a clear case of cultural appropriation as people use the term, but because it’s Beyonce and she’s having a tough time in her relationship, never mind.
(Side note: I did love that shot of her sitting with her arms behind her back. That was great, she looked so beautiful)
Eva I think there may eventually be a cry from somewhere, but at the moment people are too focused on Jay Z and Warsan Shire and that’s it. But Bey does gets called out though: she got called out on India, and she got called out a bit on New Orleans (though I didn’t agree at all with that one). I just didn’t get why the face paint in this video with what they are wearing. I don’t mind (and I like it in another music video from this album) I just don’t get it in this particular one.
Edi Oh yeah, someone will pick up on it in a few days, I’m sure, and write a whole thinkpiece about it. All I’m saying is that there’s basically a lot of referencing – dare I say, using – groups/peoples that she is not a part of. I don’t have a problem with it, i have a problem with double standards.
Pri I didn’t pick up on it as exploitation in this because of the blending that Eva mentioned. I took it to be more deliberate and celebratory. The NOLA setting was an obvious choice, for example.
Edi But did you know who she was celebrating? And does its being deliberate/overt mean that it’s OK to do it, even though when white girls ‘deliberately’ wear bindis and dance bhangra in music videos with Indian dancers they are being slammed?
Pri She was celebrating diversity among black women who are from all over. I don’t think she was trying to appear exotic.
Edi But that suggests that the black woman image is homogeneous, when her message really only relates to black American women. That argument died in 2014, even she should know that.
Eva I agree, black women are not all the same. I am very specific here in saying ‘Yoruba’ because that is the Nigerian culture that she more specifically learns about – she references Orisha which is Yoruba.
Edi I’m literally just making a comparative observation: if you want to celebrate women from all over – black women – but don’t include them or their messages in your video; use their art work, but talk exclusively about the issues of black american women; this is what people are calling cultural appropriation. When other people so much as talk about experiences that they themselves have not participated in, they’re slammed, called out, and booed off stage, but Beyonce’s version is immediately construed and subconsciously accepted as a celebration.
Eva I think Beyonce’s inclusion of both famous and not famous black women however is a declaration of her talking beyond herself. It’s purposeful to use Warsan Shire poetry (a Somali Brit who is not that well known and has a very limited social media visibility) and Ibeyi, and Amandla Sandberg, and Serena. And they’re not all American: Ibeyi are two Cuban French Nigerian females
Edi I’m talking about subtle visual tropes, not the obvious stuff. OK, not all the women are American, fair, but I would actually argue that adds to my point about homogenising, but let us move on as we could talk about this all day lol.
(Emptiness) “her hips grind, pestle and mortar, cinnamon and cloves.”
Pri I don’t actually like this song that much musically, but I thought it was interesting that it deals with the usual Beyonce themes of working hard, getting money, etc. However, the song is actually about emptiness. The house is on fire throughout and she ends it with ‘come back’, so it’s not actually about slaying and acquistion.
Edi I loved this song, it was actually the first one that I liked. Musically, finally she’s singing; she hits a note that takes me to where she is; when the Weeknd started singing i was like yes sir; and i really want that hat; and that antebellum decoration.
Eva“her hips grind, pestle and mortar, cinnamon and cloves.” – poetry ❤
Jade Edi I am so with you: I put two hearts next to this song
(Accountability) “Are you a slave to the back of his hand? Am I talking about your husband or your father?
Jade I am ambivalent about this song. Ambivalent erring on the side of meh. I would skip.
Pri I only like country music when Beyonce sings it.
Sophie This one was not good to begin with, a bad pastiche I thought but it’s grown on me
Edi I loved this song, maybe because it was one of the only actual songs for me. It had musicality, the lyrics made sense, the point got across, and the words actually went with the visuals. I liked the jazz intro and the double entendre with the “he’s playing you” – your father or your husband? I just like the spirit of this song, the dancing with the coffin, the directness without the metaphor…
Eva I also loved the jazz leading into the country. Beautiful! I just think the whole intro is so interesting. Going from one whole bit talking about your mother, then to a father talking, then back to wanting to be like your mother, then seeing your mother and the way she has succumb to her husband. There’s a lot about cycles…
Pri The introduction about being like your mother was interesting. Obviously she talks about beauty and physically looking like her, but her mother was also cheated on. It ties back to the beginning when she says the line about him being like her father, being a magician, ‘being in two places at once’.
Pri This was the song that perfectly captured how her own life in these songs opens up to a wider discussion. Also the theme/title was accountability but that applies to both parties in this.
Sophie And the lack thereof….
Now that I’m listening to the song again, I think there’s something to be said about the negative cycle of men, outside of relationships, like how negative father figures are maybe even more detrimental. AND I know I’m more concentrated on the visuals but the scratchy documentary style and the square framing with the insipid colours was nice. Not groundbreaking but fitting
Eva I liked the documentary style – was nice to see shots of people’s lives. I agree that it’s definitely about cycles. The song is about her dad talking about protecting her from other men, when his wife had to protect herself from him, but then he still did good by his daughter in some ways. Life = complex
Sophie I think that’s because men have a really different attitude to their daughters even though they’re still women. It’s like they separate daughters from their inevitable position as wives. That their daughters will grow up to be treated with the same disdain because wife=sex, they don’t want to think of their daughters like that, but don’t see their wives as someone’s daughter.
Eva Going back a bit to the theme of cultural mixing,she has a New Orleans jazz intro, country music and repetition of Texas, and is wearing a West African print dress. That’s more what I mean by cultural mixing: it’s three very specific places repeated throughout. But you know I pull out what I feel is relevant to me, someone from New Orleans or anywhere may see something else entirely.The mixing of modern and old, too. I don’t know if that’s to reflect…
Pri Well that goes back to cycles and history, no? I have no idea when it’ s meant to be ‘set’, which feels deliberate in some ways
Sophie I think that’s deliberate, that this cycle has perpetuated itself for generations ad infinitum.
Eva Also I noticed that song ends with someone in old school clothing standing in a stadium – not sure if that’s a nod to hurricane Katrina victims being trapped in there or not.
Pri I noticed that in the next song Redemption, when she’s lying on the pitch. It also reminded me of the Superbowl in that it was a total contrast to Beyonce owning the stage. Instead she lays on the grass like she’s in her own bed at home.
(Redemption) Why do you deny yourself heaven? Why do you consider yourself undeserving? Why are you afraid of love? You think it’s not possible for someone like you.
Edi For Love Drought all I have to say is that I love those synthesizer arpeggios, they definitely convey the etheral mode of the song.
Sophie Not a fan of the song itself really. It feels forgettable. I feel like the opening language annoys me, why are you afraid etc. It’s being too forgiving.
Pri I don’t even know what the fuck an arpeggio is.
Jade Love drought for some reason reminded me of the 90s. Did anyone else get that?
Edi Yeah, it felt like the last song on the B track to a Destiny’s Child album, the one with that really sad song about a girl being raped by her dad
Pri Yess and a bit of Brown Eyes / Stay on that same album
Pri I wasn’t sure at first who she was talking, herself or him? Is she denying herself love for staying with him? Or saying it to him for being unfaithful?
Sophie I thought she was saying it to him, feeling sorrier for him than he deserves.
(Forgiveness)Baptize me. Now that reconciliation is possible, if we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious. One thousand girls raise their arms.
Jade Sandcastles made me cry. I don’t know why. Also that song was written/co-written by Malik Yusef I believe, and he is so sick.So I give some credit to him, less to B. Listening to it without the video really changes things.
Edi I hated it, it was boring, badly enunciated, ‘piano playing’ my left foot. The girl can’t pronounce promise properly. Especially when Freedom is so much realer – soul suits her much more than some forced ‘grit’ and cheesy piano playing.
Eva aaaawww Bey showing she learnt some chords on le piano. Some of the grit was unnecessary in my opinion. I feel like she should have re-recorded the song for the album, left the grit for the video, taken it out in recording as it’s soooo forced. But the video with it was beautiful to me. Like.. her hair… the room… jay by her feet
Pri I liked the grit – sometimes she over sings and the emotion can still feel forced, like singing that way because she can. But this felt real – I cried. Also seeing Jay at her feet [some sort of emoji]. I liked the basic piano cause for once she isn’t slaying at everything. However that’s a personal issue probably because I still suck at it. Concept wise – I liked her talking honestly about basically not being able to walk away. Again, another critical moment that made her more human.
Sophie I assumed she was pretending to play at first haha. I do love the gritty voice, I found it really emotional. I also agree on the human aspect, that sometimes you have to forgive because it’s less painful. However, her inability to say promise negates the whole project.
Edi THANK YOU. IT’S THE FUCKING PROMISE THING, I CAN’T.
Pri I feel like very few artists nowadays can sing like that. Here you can literally hear her blocked up from crying.
Eva Whilst singing ‘every promise don’t work out that way”; “show me your scars and I won’t walk away’ – I love. The idea that he is hurting too; he has issues too! And it’s the first time it’s recognising that there are two sides to a story (even if he is a cheating ass lol).
Pri It switches to referencing his pain and his tears, and that guilt you feel even when you’re in the right for making someone feel sad. Like when you tell a kid off, and you know they have to learn their lesson or whatever, but you feel bad.
Sophie I feel 0 sympathy for him. ZERO
Jade I feel 0 sympathy for either of them. Life’s hard
Edi I agree with Jade – go and cry on your pillow of money.
Sophie It’s ridiculous really…I think you feel bad for them because you want to feel like they have issues, because it’s worse if they’re just a dick. That’s way worse.
Edi This is so true, because then you have to forget everything you’ve gone through is a lie, and let them go, and try and move on. That’s much harder than you both ‘apologising’ and getting on with life.
Pri I’ve definitely been in that situation where I make allowances because of upbringing or whatever, but yeah maybe it’s because the reality otherwise is harder to confront.
Sophie But it doesn’t make everything go away; that’s just protecting herself from admitting she married a bastard who’s made a mockery of their life together (I am thinking of the Emma Thompson/Alan Rickman scene in love actually).
Eva I’d like to say again, whilst who the artist is is important for context as they put themselves in the work, I don’t really care about their lives. Maybe because I’m just so anti the media drama around it now. Maybe not. I mean, I’ve cared more about Khloe Kardashian’s life – (horrible) truth. Ye – can I stop listening to this in the background now? Something about it feels like I’m watching The Fighting Temptations in the background… and I’m not particularly fond of that.
(Resurrection) ‘what do we do? How do we beat them? Love’
Jade First off – James Blake. Still incredible.
Edi I liked Forward. Again, I like how the lyrics actually match the visuals instead of being a hodge podge.
(Hope) ‘A flower blossoming out of the hole in my face.’
Edi Freedom is my absolute favourite song, but it also highlighted something that goes on in all the songs that I hadn’t noticed till this video. Beyoncé others herself through her hair in almost every song – here, the theme is plantation/civil war realness, hair, clothes, etc, but beyoncé is the only one with perfectly straight hair. Just thought it was interesting. Obviously she is the star, but it’s interesting how it comes out in hairstyles.
Eva Interesting point indeed
Jade Maybe that’s her natural hair
Eva She’s never quite what she’s representing is she? Texas barely appears, and that’s her home!
Pri This was one of the only songs that isn’t directly addressing her husband. Winnie Harlow’s crown looks like the Statue of liberty in this, and I kind of love it. Also just this repeated setting of these women together in this house. In this half of the album, we see them eating together and performing…healing I guess. I’m here for it.
(Redemption) ‘you spun gold out of hardship.’
Edi I think this song was a complete cop out considering all that had gone before. I know she was going for the ‘full story arc’ mode, but it just didn’t make sense to go from All Night to Formation. It’s like All Night was just stuck in there to be like OH WAIT GUYS I’m not getting divorced teehee here’s that great song everyone loves #lmao #formation.
Sophie I think the song itself is uninteresting. It ticks no boxes and breaks no boundaries, it’s just fine. The insta filtered shots of happy families were irritating to start. It’s more excuses to prevent a complete loss of the relationship but I did like the shots of other couples. Maybe cheating isn’t the worst thing of all, maybe it’s losing the person completely. She says everyone wants a piece of him but she’s the one that ‘kisses the crimes’. Maybe forgiveness is enough?
Pri This song is growing on me…it’s like the XO of this album, except maybe way less appropriate to dance to at a wedding? I agree though, although it’s more realistic than your average love song, it still feels like a jump from the story being told Kiss up and rub up…what? I’m glad she ended with a call to action on Formation.
(We already know what it is, but…)
Eva She end on Formation baby. Ladies get in formation. Keep your life in check. Keep your shit in check. Keep your men in check. Mobilise. Love yourself. #blackgirlsrock!
Eva Overall, I love it. I want to sit and watch the videos through again as that, I think, is what made it for me. I’d have a completely different reaction to the album if I had only heard the music, partlly because caring about Bey and Jay’s domestic arguments can only interest me for so long.
The body of the video project, including the poems ( i know you hate them Edi) and all the other stuff gives me something more meaningful to hold on to. I don’t think everything is relevant.. and a lot still perplexes me. The album, without visuals, has no story arc.
Edi The overall project: I don’t think I would watch it again from beginning to end, just because there are so many things that don’t need to be seen twice, and many things that I don’t like, like (yes I’ll say it again) the poetry, and the bloody sandcastle song. In the end, I’m just glad we figured out what the fuck Lemonade represented. Totally thought she was gonna leave us hanging on that one. In love with three of the songs, dislike 2 of them, slightly confused by the rest. I think even on just the lyrics alone there’s a clear story progression, but the visuals do make it hit home harder [especially that happy home bs in All Night Long].
Eva Well, her ‘politicalness’ is more in the visuals than the music; she brings in kendrick at the end for some political reinforcement.
Jade I don’t know if I’m the only one but I think there are too many songs about the cheating. It’s so exaggerated. She makes out like she died.
Pri I like that though because she treats it with more depth than just i’m sad, i’m mad. She shows that theres more complex emotions involved, although I do think she could have delved deeper.
Eva That’s why I need the visuals, then it’s a story to me, and progress, and learning, and developing, and processing emotion. Then the album is separate songs; I don’t care about Jay-Z! It’s for like 5 mins, then it’s a bit sad.
Edi But it doesn’t really work without the visuals because it’s like half a story, so when you have the album it’s just a case of playing your favourite songs. Also, lol Jade, you tell em honey.
EvaBut then I remember this music is now mine – to infuse my life into it – and I don’t care about Jay-z, just like how Bey doesn’t care about my life lol. This is still my album though (heart emoticon heart emoticon)
Pri I don’t care about Jay-z and her, it’s more for real people to understand that it isn’t black and white which is why personally I like that there’s different angles on the same topic.
Edi But now you’re gonna have all these over-reactive bitches-be-cray, ‘relating’ to the album, playing the lyrics to their dickhead bfs, completely misconstruing the album until 2018 and I’m already annoyed.
Jade Exactly Edi! It’s too much
Pri But they would do that regardless of what she made because it’s Beyonce. Half of these lyrics are gonna be rinsed on instagram by tomorrow.
I think as a record alone it wouldn’t be iconic but as a whole package it felt like a moment.
Jade A moment that happened yesterday, we won’t be talking about this next week
Eva I still think hearing single ladies play is more excruciating – anything to replace desperate ladies waving their hands at their other single friends.
Edi That’ll still happen, that song is how old now? Desperate bitches will never die.
Pri The bigger issue about it being misconstrued for me, is people chasing Rachel Ray around with their theories and blowing up her comments section. For me it’s bigger than who Jay-Z cheated with, and a lot of headlines and stuff are about that. Like everyone is on a witch hunt for Becky with the good hair when ‘she’ got literally two lines of attention throughout the whole album. Beyonce could have dragged this woman, or women, had she wanted to but the focus is bigger than that. It’s a damn shame because there is so much to be taken from this, outside of her personal life. It’s a wider commentary on the treatment of black women and, ultimately, a celebration.
Eva I can’t wait til they stop using the album as a detective puzzle for Bey’s life and start to enjoy it like other things. I feel that art only really hits you when it resonates.
Sophie I feel like the black lives thing is more important but is getting drowned out by Becky good hair. For me, it’s been quite a revelation. I’ve never been a huge Beyoncé fan but I have paid hard earned money for this album, but that only happened because of the video. I think there are some songs that I love but it was artistry and the cinematic beauty of the video that did it for me. The costumes, the real people, the cycle feel we’re just too gorgeous for me. I think it cements her as someone that develops, that ups her game.
I think that regardless of why Beyonce did it, who cheated on who and with which Becky with the good hair, it’s already become an anthem for women, who more often than not are the ones to pick up the pieces of a relationship and who are never given the credit they deserve for being more than trophies for men. The more I listen to it, the less I hear the lyrics about cheating, the more I feel it’s a celebration of women and, like her or not, I think she knows how to gather people to her music.