When life gives you Lemonade, what do you make next? A margarita will do. “That’s how I ball,” promises Beyoncé on the intro cut to her first full-length, solo, non-soundtrack album in six years. “Cleanse me of my sins / My unAmerican life.” It’s not a stretch to believe she wants to party again. The surprise on her much heralded return to the limelight is how much RENAISSANCE clamours to make you feel as if you’re in the club with her, grazing a booth, knocking a shot back, leaving a trail of male drool in your wake like a silver rug.
This isn’t exactly sensational. Pop has become giddier and more ecstatic of late, heading back to jungle, reggaeton and classic garage to make us forget about The End Times. FKA Twigs has already detonated her po-faced image with CAPRISONGS, another record that bounds joyfully in all-caps through a night on the town with someone you’d never think would hold the cab open for you. Drake’s house about-face should shock precisely no-one. Charli XCX has brought out a collection of poolside bangers, giving Holly Valance a makeover and the ozone layer another hole from hairspray. We are in an age of the careless bop – music that banishes cruelty from the queue. Beyoncé is giving us another reason to live fast and die drunk, a tongue sweeping the tiles.