Beyoncé’s HOMECOMING – Album Review

Queen Bey is back with 40 2 new songs!

Everyone’s favorite queen/artist/icon/empowerment figure is back with a mega-sized live experience for fans to revel in. HOMECOMING acts as Beyoncé’s eighth (it’s being marketed as such) album – this time as a live project. Beyoncé has done projects such as this before, but none have been marketed as much as this one. Queen Bey always seems to do everything bigger and better, but what is there to enjoy from a 40-track album that only has two new songs? The answer is strictly: unless you’re a Beyoncé super-fan, not much.

HOMECOMING is a greatest hits album where the hits are being performed live. While the concept is nice, there are multiple occurrences where the album reminds you that the original versions of the songs are much better. On rare occasion, the live version actually enhances the audio quality and the experience of the song.

While the mixing is excellent for a live album, it still pales in comparison to any real version of Beyoncé’s hits. Drunk In Love takes the biggest step back in quality on the entire album; the extra trumpets and horns combined with Bey’s bombastic vocals completely ruin the feel and aesthetic of the original track – it’s meant to be slick, smooth, and seductive; not an anthem. Formation is another song that takes a huge step back in quality here. Somehow, Beyoncé manages to make the hit unenjoyable through terrible mixing and an underwhelming vocal performance.

The only song that’s lifted by the live choice is the Flawless/Feeling Myself mix. Two mid-tier Beyoncé songs are turned into a fun, one-of-a-kind anthem (also, great Playboi Carti reference). I Been On and Diva are two moments where the live version is worth listening to, but that’s because one is literally only a live song, and the other is changed drastically from the original version. Most of the songs on here are still good songs, but their quality diminishes with poor mixing, crowd noise, and an over-abundance of sounds.

The two new songs barely qualify as new songs, as Before I Let Go is a cover, and I Been On is a studio version of the exclusively made-for-concert song. Nothing on HOMECOMING is flat out terrible, but albums are released in CDQ form for a reason – because it sounds so much crisper and is a better listening experience. Hearing a concert without being in the crowd and seeing the artist on-stage is like sticking a Baja Blast in the freezer for two hours and hoping it tastes like a Baja Freeze – it ruins the true experience of the product. While going to a Beyoncé show is expensive, it’s bound to be much better than listening to a concert through your headphones.