Track Review: 16 CARRIAGES // Beyoncé

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During her Verizon advertisement, Beyoncé’s surprise release of ‘16 CARRIAGES’ and ‘TEXAS HOLD ‘EM’ shocked fans during the 58th annual Superbowl. Fans have received both songs well, with ‘TEXAS HOLD ‘EM’ making Beyoncé the first black woman to chart at the top of the Country Charts. Fans were shocked at the new musical direction Beyoncé will explore in Renaissance Act II, a dramatic shift away from the house style visible in the first act of RENAISSANCE

Read More: Breaking Boundaries: Beyoncé Makes History on the Country Charts

‘16 CARRIAGES’ gives great insight into Beyoncé’s early life and work ethic. In the song, Beyoncé discusses the struggles of touring from a young age, starting her verse with “At 15 the innocence gone astray”, referencing the beginning of her road to stardom. The song contains references to her memory of her parents’ marriage as she witnessed her “mama crying” and “daddy lying”. The track also reminds people of her turbulent childhood as her father, in support of her career, left his job to manage the group full-time, causing her family to sell their home and vehicles.

Her voice switches between a slow, more traditional country melody for the chorus and a fast-paced hook, showing her variety and ability to bring her spin into this country song. The gospel style reminds the listeners of the Southern Christian influence in country music. The genre has always been embedded in Christian culture, with lyrics reflecting this. Beyoncé adheres to this with her lyrics “Only God knows,” when she mentions she is still working on her life. The acoustic guitar pairs well with her singing in a soft melody juxtaposed with the entrance of the drums and a deeper tone for the second line of the chorus. This difference is perfect as it splits the chorus apart and makes it less repetitive, even though it is the same line.

Though it was ‘TEXAS HOLD ‘EM’ that gave Beyoncé her first chart-topping single and achieved commercial success, ‘16 CARRIAGES’ is still an incredible addition to her catalogue due to the merge of her soulful melodies, country rhythm, instrumentals and its slower pace with acoustic breaks. The song will surely be much-loved alongside the others to accompany the rest of the Renaissance Act II set to be released on 29th March. 

Words by Amira Nur


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