Beyonce Kwaku Alston for Disney Studios

Single Review: Spirit x Beyonce

Beyoncé sets out to empower and inspire with her new song, “Spirit.”

There’s only one Queen Bey. With a legacy and catalog that today’s generation of pop stars can only dream of, she has become a staple of entertainment for the last two and a half decades. The latest in her string of many feats of stardom include her role as Nala in the live action remake of Disney’s classic blockbuster hit, The Lion King. A week prior to the release of the highly anticipated film, Yonce has returned with the new inspiration tune, “Spirit”, exclusively from The Lion King soundtrack. 

The new record finds Beyonce in a lane she has visited before, but rather seldomly when you think about the songs that have made her a household name on the Billboard Charts. “Spirit” is an uplifting power-ballad, clearly inspired by the 90’s style of balladry, such as the Elton John classic “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”, which is also covered on the film’s soundtrack by Knowles and Childish Gambino. Adapting to a mature vocal change, Beyonce coos effortlessly over dramatic synths and choir to present the message of believing in oneself, similar to the storyline that follows the film’s protagonist, Simba.

While the overall composition is a suitable listen to the ears and quenches a thirst for members of the Beyhive, it also falls flat in certain arenas. As similar with most Beyonce penned records, it is not a lyrical masterpiece. At times the icky cliches relay to hard on the word play and execution of the tempo that make the jam-packed verses hard to connect to. Elsewhere, the big chorus is suitable for the film’s act of drama, but not convincing enough to a younger audience to go and see the film. Luckily, however, the film doesn’t need the song for viewers to be attracted nor is Beyonce trying to appeal to a younger audience with the ballad.

“Spirit” works as a B-level Beyonce record released in the late years of her career. Where it lacks initiative and mastery in some regards, it elsewhere proves that the power of her slightly waning voice, is still a favorable force capable of entertaining audiences worldwide for years to come.  

“The Lion King: The Gift” album is out now. Listen below:

July 19, 2019

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