On Tuesday (April 26), we posed the question: “Do you think Beyoncé’s new song “Daddy Lessons” is country?”
According to our followers, the answer was a resounding “yes.”
— Suelen FORMATION (@su_aformation) April 27, 2016
— Sn∆w (@PrettiBoi_Bee) April 27, 2016
The new track is part of Beyoncé’s new album “Lemonade,” which has dominated the pop culture chatter since it’s release as a visual album on Saturday (April 23), and is headed for the No. 1 spot atop the Billboard charts.
CMT writer Alison Bonaguro leaned toward the “no” side of the discussion, citing the song’s lack of Nashville-based songwriters and the fact that it wasn’t recorded in Nashville. But as those in Texas and many other states will point out, country music can be recorded anywhere.
For me, though, I couldn’t quite come up with a checklist of what makes a song “country.” As a long time country fan, I’ve always identified country songs by their artful storytelling and the feeling they give me. It’s not all beer cans and truck beds, it’s families and first loves and heartbreak and everything in between.
“Daddy Lessons” is everything I expect from a great country song. The song, which tells the story of a Texas upbringing accompanied by a prominent acoustic guitar, feels honest and intriguing, and like Beyoncé is giving me a window into her life. It may not have been written or recorded in Music City, but it echos the sound and sentiment of songs I hear here every day.
It’s not as though Beyoncé has made a bold announcement that she’s becoming a country artist. It’s one track on an album, and the truth is that her career right now is bigger than any individual musical genre.
Considering that “Daddy Lessons” is the only track on the album that Beyoncé produced solo, you have to assume the song has a special significance to her. And if any country influences can be detected within the lyrics, instrumentation and production, then God bless her for following her creative muse. That’s what a true artist does.
And if her creative muse ever brings her even closer to a full country project, then we’ll probably be hit with a real revelation. Given her artistry and success so far, there’s no genre Beyoncé can’t conquer.
Welcome to Nashville, Queen Bey.