Look Lemonade is great. At this point, almost seven months since it came out and sent all of us into a collective tizzy, that’s understood. In terms of pop albums, it’s proven to be immaculately crafted and nearly inscrutable.
I add the qualifier of “nearly” because I think if there’s something to critique it’s the paint-by-numbers “rock-rap” of “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” and country strutter “Daddy Lessons.” The insistent handclaps and guitar shuffling were fine, sure, but it just felt inorganic in some way. Like if Beyoncé had started the song by saying “We’re going to do a genre exercise now,” it would’ve made all the sense in the world. It simply stands out too much on an album whose main strength is cohesion.
The newly minted “remix” of “Daddy Lessons” with the Dixie Chicks would prolly still stick out on Lemonade, but it feels more natural. There are a few more guitars (and banjos) in the mix to give it a more pronounced party vibe. Hearing other voices on the track certainly helps with that. Natalie Maines’ singing seamlessly pairs with Beyoncé’s in the chorus so much that you do and don’t notice it. As fellow female Texans done wrong, the Dixie Chicks are weirdly the ideal partners-in-crime for the Queen. They further bolster that country cred (not that a woman born and raised in Houston needs it) and serve as a firm reminder of that dominant power structures in music will try to shut you up if they don’t like what you’re saying. Of course, the Dixie Chicks fought. And 2016 has solidified Beyoncé as a fighter on multiple battlefields. So perhaps she and the Dixie Chicks are more simpatico than one song could suggest.