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Renaissance in Review

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.

On Friday, July 29, 2022, Beyonce released her long awaited ninth studio album, titled Renaissance: Act I. She is expected to release two more acts to follow. The last album we received from Beyonce was The Lion King: The Gift, which was released in 2019 to go along with the live-action remake of the film, in which she voiced the character Nala. I can definitely say that Renaissance: Act I has been added to my list of comfort albums; Albums that I can just sit back and let play. Here is my personal song by song review of Renaissance: Act I. 

Track 1: “I’M THAT GIRL”

Personally, I wasn’t the biggest fan of “I’m That Girl,” (BeyHive, please do not disown me). I love the message promoting self-love, and the constant repetition of “Please, MF’s ain’t stoppin’ me,” (because, same), however, this song just didn’t have that “wow” factor that I feel like it should’ve had, especially to be the album opener. 

Track 2: “COZY” 

One thing I love about Renaissance: Act I, is the transitions. They flow so naturally and beautifully throughout the album. The transition from “I’m That Girl” to “Cozy” is immaculate. As a young woman growing every day, “Cozy” is a song I like to listen to when I’m feeling good about myself. The lyrics just do it for me. Though, I don’t always feel this way, hearing “Comfortable in my skin, cozy with who I am, my feet up above your sins, I love myself, Goddamn,” just helps me feel good, and uplifts me. 


My absolute favorite song on the entire album is “Alien Superstar.” “Cozy” is what I listen to when I feel my best, but “Alien Superstar” is what I listen to when I don’t feel my best, because it pumps me up and gives me the energy and confidence boost I need. The opening line alone, “I’m one of one, I’m number one, I’m the only one … .Don’t even waste your time to compete with me, no one else in this world can think like me” makes me feel great only 30 seconds into the song. However, when the chorus drops? I become a supermodel in my head. “I’m too sexy for this world, forever, I’m that girl, feed you diamonds & pearls…I’m too classy to be touched, I paid them all in dust, I’m stingy with my love,” gives me all the empowerment I need. Beyonce definitely blessed the world with “Alien Superstar.”

Track 4: “CUFF IT” 

“Cuff It” was cute lil’ bop. I like it a lot. It gave me all the summer vibes I needed this past summer. I also love the cute TikTok dance I’ve been seeing people do to the chorus. I think it’s impossible for anyone to listen to “Cuff It,” and not dance, even if it’s just a little shoulder bounce or two-step. It’s just a good vibe overall. 

Track 5: ENERGY

“Energy” was added to my workout/on the move playlist. It’s just a song that gets me moving. If I was actually good at runway modeling, this would be my second choice of a song to walk to (#AlienSuperstarSupremacy). The beat and flow changes throughout the song are so interesting to me, in the best way possible. 


I truly just believe the radio contributes to my dislike of “Break My Soul.” I say this because when it was released as a single, I loved it! However, I don’t like hearing songs over and over again, and the radio surely did that with this song. I think it’s an interesting take on house music, which has seemed to make a comeback this year, as Drake released a heavily house-inspired album titled “Honestly, Nevermind” this past June. I love the message in “Break My Soul,” though. I like how it encourages people to leave things that no longer serve them purpose or are detrimental to their mental health, but the constant airplay caused me to dislike the song itself more and more.

Track 7: “CHURCH GIRL”

“Church Girl” was another cute lil’ bop that’s sure to make you dance. This song caused a lot of controversy, especially in the Christian community, because the song samples “Center of Thy Will”, a gospel song by popular gospel group The Clark Sisters, but contains sexually suggestive lyrics, such as “I’ll drop it like a thotty,” and “You can be my daddy if you want to.” Personally, as a Christian, I don’t see the big deal, and think those complaining are reading too much into it, but, hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinions! 


“Plastic Off The Sofa” is a beautiful song about vulnerability. I don’t have too much to say about the song, but I don’t know, y’all, it kind of makes me wanna fall in love. The opening line, “Boy, I know that you can’t help but be yourself ‘round me,” is so cute to me. Bey’s vocals are just so pretty in this song. 

Track 9: “VIRGO’S GROOVE” 

I don’t have much to say about “Virgo’s Groove”, because I don’t love nor hate it. I just think it’s super long. This is probably my only “skip” on the album, just because I have a short attention span. I usually play the song for about two out of the six minute long song, then I say “Okay, enough of that,” then skip it.

Track 10: “MOVE”

“MOVE OUT THE WAY! I’M WITH MY GIRLS AND WE ALL NEED SPACE!” Like, okayyy Bey, let me get out the way then! Like “Energy,” “Move” switches flows. I was impressed with the flow and beat changes. This song makes me wanna purchase a Peloton bike and workout every day. 

Track 11: “HEATED” 

“Heated” very much gives “I’m that b***h, and I know I’m that b***h, so don’t play with me” vibes and I’m here for it. Like “Virgo’s Groove,” I don’t love, nor hate the song. I’m not likely to skip it, but it’s not a song I would voluntarily turn on, you know?

Track 12: “THIQUE”

I like “Thique.” It makes me feel like I’m the thickest girl in the world, even though that’s the furthest thing from the truth. What I’m trying to say is, like many Beyonce songs, “Thique” gives you the confidence boost you didn’t even know you needed. But let’s talk about the way Bey changes her voice mid song?! I literally had to Google, “Who is featured on ‘Thique’ by Beyonce,” only to find out Bey is the only singer on the song, but is just so talented that she can so naturally change tones & keys to sound like a whole different person. Ugh, she’s just so unreal. 

Track 13:  “ALL UP IN YOUR MIND”

I heard that a lot of people didn’t care for “All Up In Your Mind,” but I personally think it’s a cute little bop! Another upbeat kind of song that makes me wanna take a Zumba class. 


Okay, I’m not gonna lie, when Beyonce first released the track list before the album dropped, when I saw “America Has A Problem” on the list, I assumed it was gonna be another political kind of song, like “Freedom” or “Black Parade.” However, when I actually heard the song I realized it wasn’t that at all. It’s actually another self-love anthem (shocker, right?).  This is another one of my favorites on the album. My favorite part of the song is when she says “Twenty, forty, eighty out the trap, hit it with the rap, Put it on the map, then we right back, Call me when you wanna get high, Tony Montana with the racks, Ivy P on my. bag, double G’s on my dash, N***a, I’m bad, I’m bad,” because, I’m bad too! The song is just one of the best on album, but don’t get it twisted because, again #AlienSuperstarSupremacy. 

Track 15: “PURE/HONEY”

“Pure/Honey” was among my list of least favorites on the album. I don’t have much to say, honestly. I don’t necessarily hate it, per se, but if I could pick a song to do without, it’d be this one. 


Summer Renaissance” was the perfect closer to the album. This is another song I would choose to walk to if I were a runway model because it also gives me an energy and confidence boost.

Overall, I’d give Renaissance: Act I a good 8/10 rating. I don’t think it was Beyonce’s best album to date (4  will forever be my favorite album of hers), but I definitely think it is her most diverse and evolved album to date. I like the fact that the album flows well, as I mentioned the transitions flow beautifully. I never shuffle the album, I always listen to it in order. I like the fact that she incorporates different styles of music to create something so lovely. This was only Act I of what is rumored to be three. I am excited to hear both Renaissance: Act II & Act III.

Sydney Greene

Hampton U '25

Sydney Greene is a second-year Journalism major at Hampton University from the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia) area. Post graduation, Sydney plans to be an entertainment journalist with her own radio and/or talk show!