House is back! The latest Drake record Honestly, Nevermind and Beyoncé’s lead single off her upcoming record shows us that the house / club music made famous in the 80s / 90s is back! Originally, house was made popular by LGBTIQA+ people in largely the LGBTIQA+ clubs of the 80s and 90s. However, this dance phenomenon moved mainstream and massive clubs like the Gay 90’s in Minneapolis were hosting both drag shows and massive club nights for a mix of ethnicities, genders, sexualities and non – binary people. Madonna took house to its mainstream peak with her record Confessions on a Dance Floor. House then receded to the background as DJs like Deadmau5 took EDM to heights it might never see again.
However, much like the current obsession with Kate Bush, whatever was once great will come around again. Now house is back and Beyoncé is going to make sure it stays. Unlike Drake, Beyoncé’s single sounds like it is sung by a human and not a programmed chat bot. Honestly, Drake’s vocal has the emotional depth of someone reading the nutritional information off a box of Raisin Bran…but that is a rant for another day. I think the key to Beyoncé’s ability to make house work, while Drake misses the mark, is the vocal.
Break My Soul is the lead single off her upcoming record act i: RENAISSANCE, which is due out on July 29th. On a side note, we are going to get a new Beyoncé, Harry Styles and Kendrick Lamar record in the same year…VIVA MUSIC!!!! Anyway, I think where this track succeeds, while Drake’s record fails, is how Beyoncé embraces the LGBTIQA+ roots of house music.
Musically, the track resembles much of the music coming out of the Gay 90’s between 1989 and 2005. There is a jamming groove that you can imagine 1,000 people sweating to with a lot so BTMs and the requisite keyboard. The music itself is not the boldest choice, but does a good job paying homage to the early house tracks found in LGBTIQA+ clubs across the world. Moreover, this type of house music is making a comeback in exclusive international party spots like Ibiza where the rich and famous go to grind and light money on fire.
Where this track excels is in the vocal and the lyrics. The issue with Drake is that his songs lack lyrical depth and his vocal sounds like his is recording the track, while a vampire is draining him of blood. Ok…enough ranting on the Drake record. The song itself is about how Beyoncé has found freedom in how she loves herself. The song talks about releasing your anger, releasing your job and releasing your stress as you find your inner love. Beyoncé sings about how she was searching for love, but then found it in herself. Inner love of your true self was, and still is, the ethos behind the LGBTIQA+ clubs that Beyoncé honours with this track.
Much like Diana Ross’ I’m Coming Out, which was adopted as a LUBTIQA+ anthem for its message of pride and love, I can see Break My Soul becoming a new anthem. Queen B brings the heart to house, which is what made it work in the first place. It’s not enough to throw some lyrics over synth and beats, you need to have a core that can move people. The summer song for 2022 is here…so let it go and move!
Listen to Break My Soul