Rejoice, one and all: Beyoncé has granted us the privilege of watching her Coachella set from the comfort of our own beds. Not only did Knowles drop a 40-track live album of her show on all major streaming services, she’s given us the greatest gift of all: a Netflix documentary. “HOMECOMING: A film by Beyoncé” displays a combination of her Coachella shows interwoven with Maya Angelou and Malcolm X quotes and behind-the-scenes clips of creating and rehearsing the set all while recovering from an emergency C-section for her twins. NBD, just another day in the life for Queen Bey.
For both the soundtrack and visuals, the “HOMECOMING” documentary and album are Beyhive-required consumption.
In many ways, “HOMECOMING” is a beautiful and well-deserved tribute to herself. “I studied my history. I studied my past. I put every mistake, all of my triumphs, my 22-year career into my two-hour ‘Homecoming’ performance,” says Knowles. The set, kicking off with “Crazy in Love,” reflects her journey as she’s evolved from pop-star to prophet. And listening to Jay-Z rap, “History in the making,” has never felt so much like a complete circle as it did watching her descend down a staircase to kick off her show. Beyond that, “HOMECOMING” is a celebration of Black excellence as a whole.
It consists mainly of tracks from “Lemonade” and “Beyoncé” as well as a few throwbacks like “Check on it” and “Baby Boy.” Some genre subversions work better than others, and some are more extreme than others. “Yoncé,” a rap that relies on its heavy, primal beat, falls a little flat when sung without the bass. The added riffs and harmonies in songs like “Say My Name” (oh yeah, there’s a Destiny’s Child reunion!) and “Soldier” allow Beyoncé to relive her whole career with insight and wisdom.