Break My Soul
|"Break My Soul"|
|Single by Beyoncé 29|
|from the album Renaissance|
|Released||June 20, 2022 (2022-06-20)|
|Beyoncé singles chronology|
"Break My Soul" is a song by American singer and songwriter Beyoncé. It was released on June 20, 2022, through Parkwood and Columbia, as the lead single from Beyoncé's upcoming seventh studio album Renaissance (2022).
In an interview with the British Vogue in June 2022, Beyoncé announced her upcoming seventh studio album Renaissance, set for release on July 29, and called it "her most ambitious musical project to date". The song title and its release date were revealed through the singer's social media bios on June 20, 2022; no further announcement was made. Several streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music, immediately confirmed the news.
Originally intended to be released at midnight Eastern Time on June 21 to coincide with the 2022 June solstice, the song was released to music streaming service Tidal and YouTube two hours prior, on June 20.
"Break My Soul" marks Beyoncé's first single release from a solo studio album in six years.
Pitchfork writer Matthew Strauss described the song as "a dance song that is intended to mark the start of a new era with new anthems". Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times called the track a "a thumping 1990s-style house jam" with lyrics that connect the song "explicitly to its roots in Black and queer communities".
Lyrically, the track sees Beyoncé "using her growliest voice to describe a search for liberation from a crushing job... and a nerve-jangling pandemic" and is "filled with dancefloor-friendly lines... and a repeated exhortation of 'Everybody'." In the chorus, "[t]he title is flipped" as Beyoncé sings "You won't break my soul".
Fans and media outlets drew connections between lyrics like "Now I just fell in love / And I just quit my job" and the Great Resignation, a surge in Americans leaving their jobs due to wage stagnation and dissatisfaction with labor conditions.
In a five-star review for i, Lauren O'Neill described "Break My Soul" as a "floorfilling home run of a comeback" that makes you "give in to the impulses of your body and lose yourself in it". O'Neill praised Beyoncé for exploring new sounds on the track, while employing her impressive vocals and rapping skills "to offer something that feels completely new and still entirely her own". Variety's Jem Aswad described the song as highly anticipated by fans of Beyoncé, calling it "a driving dance track", before acknowledging the song's "plinking" and "insistent" hook.
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd of Pitchfork called the track "dancefloor liberation" that features "Beyoncé as an SSRI, her attempt to assuage widespread depression and crushing stress." She goes on to highlight the song's position in a lineage of vocal house music and "Black queer tradition", calling it a "palimpsest [with] evocations and sounds layered deep in the sense memories of club heads."
Writing for Billboard, Larisha Paul states "Beyoncé produced 'Break My Soul' alongside all-star collaborators Tricky Stewart and The-Dream, pushing it to a nearly five-minute run time in an algorithmic streaming age where even venturing beyond three minutes feels like a risk. The trio allows the record to breathe, trading in rushed, overcrowded urgency for high energy, four-to-the-floor beats. It carries a breeze with it, even when Beyoncé starts to call attention to the blockade that often hinders the healing process – ourselves – by gently warning."
Credits and personnel
Credits adapted from Tidal.
- Beyoncé – vocals, production, vocal production
- Tricky Stewart – production
- The-Dream – production
- Freddie Ross – backing vocals
- Jens Christian Isaken – co-production
- The Samples Choir – choir
- Jason White – conductor
- Andrea Roberts – engineering
- John Cranfield – engineering
- Matheus Braz – assistant engineering
- Colin Leonard – mastering
- Stuart White – mixing, recording
- Brandon Harding – recording
- Chris McLaughlin – recording, backing vocals
|Various||June 20, 2022||
|Italy||June 24, 2022||Radio airplay||Sony|||
- Evans, Greg (June 20, 2022). "Beyoncé Releases New Single 'Break My Soul' A Little Early – Update". Deadline. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Kaufman, Gil (June 20, 2022). "Beyonce 'Break My Soul' Single Coming Very Soon". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Navjosh (June 20, 2022). "Beyonce Releasing New Single 'Break My Soul' Tonight". HipHopNMore. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Espada, Mariah (June 17, 2022). "Everything We Know About Beyoncé's New Album, Renaissance". Time. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Renshaw, David (June 20, 2022). "New Beyoncé song "Break My Soul" out tonight at midnight". The Fader. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Strauss, Matthew (June 20, 2022). "Beyoncé Releasing New Song "Break My Soul" Tonight". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Major, Michael (June 20, 2022). "Beyoncé Announces New Single 'Break My Soul'". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Aswad, Jem (June 20, 2022). "Beyonce to Release New Single, 'Break My Soul,' at Midnight ET". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Rossignol, Derrick (June 20, 2022). "Beyonce Confirms 'Break My Soul,' A New Song, Is Coming Tonight". Uproxx. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Paul, Larisha (June 20, 2022). "Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' Begins Tonight With New Song 'Break My Soul'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Aswad, Jem (June 20, 2022). "Beyonce Drops Disco-fied New Single, 'Break My Soul'". Variety. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
- Wood, Mikael (June 21, 2022). "Beyoncé returns with liberating house jam 'Break My Soul'". LA Times. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
- Dellatto, Marisa (June 21, 2022). "Beyoncé's 'Break My Soul' Heralded As Anthem For The Great Resignation". Forbes. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
- Bloom, Madison (June 21, 2022). "Listen to Beyoncé's New Song 'Break My Soul'". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
The track features two prominent samples: a modified synth melody from Robin S.' classic house hit 'Show Me Love' and a vocal lifted from Big Freedia's 'Explode,' from the 2014 LP Just Be Free.
- O'Neill, Lauren (June 21, 2022). "Beyoncé's Break My Soul is a Robyn S-sampling, floorfilling home run of a comeback". inews.co.uk. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
- Escobedo Shepherd, Julianne (June 21, 2022). "Review: "Break My Soul"". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
- Paul, Larisha (June 21, 2022). "Beyonce's 'Break My Soul' Review: A Timely Ode to Dancefloor Release – Billboard". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 21, 2022.
- "Credits / Break My Soul / Beyoncé". Tidal. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
- Sisti, Sara (June 21, 2022). "Beyoncé - BREAK MY SOUL (Radio Date: 24-06-2022)" (Press release) (in Italian). EarOne. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
- YouTube on