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​“Love Drought”: Sunsets, Symbolism, and Sun Goddesses

By Emily Von Urff | 7/3/17 2:24pm
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Source: "Love Drought" music video

Everyone knows that Beyoncé is queen, but the past few weeks have secured her royal status. Between the announcement of her pregnancy (WITH TWINS) and her ethereal performance at the Grammys (again WITH TWINS), many of us fans are feeling #blessed.

I mean, look at her; she’s a sun goddess.

Her performance included the first televised rendition of "Love Drought" from her 2016 album Lemonade, and it's no surprise that the video for the song dropped soon after.


Source: Elle Magazine

Originally apart of the HBO-aired visual album, "Love Drought" brings about a sense of calm in the midst of a catharsis by letting the visuals take the reins. This isn’t about storyline or action; this is about aesthetic and beauty.

The video acts as a transition from the very urban to the very natural, going from a stadium to a beautiful southern coastline. It also shows a shift in the artist herself as she begins the ‘Reformation’ section of the story and delivers one of her chilling monologues before the song begins. What follows is two minutes of gorgeous sunsets, subtle symbolism, and painting-like visons.

In fact, the defining factor of “Love Drought” is its beautiful cinematography. Even without the song, it is still an aesthetically coherent work of art. In fact, I let the video run on repeat without sound while I was writing this article because I was so entranced by it. There is something about the simplicity of the reed filled coastline that makes an amazing impact.

The simplicity of the story has a similar effect, leaving a lot up to the viewer’s own interpretation. Why is she leading nine women through the water? Who picked and arranged all those flowers on the table? Who is holding Beyoncé on the other side of the rope?

Yet, most of these questions can be answers with one word: symbolism. The point of (most) art is for each person to create their own idea of what everything means. If you want to pull meaning from the old, wooden table, go for it. If the religious imagery of the water is your thing, then have at it. There’s beauty in the unknown, a truth that Beyoncé incorporated into her whole album; everything is speculation and guesses and hidden meanings. While the motivations behind “Love Drought” may not be as highly interesting as the mystery of “Becky with the good hair,” the video still adheres to her symbolic sense of artistry.

With so many iconic and powerful Lemonade moments that command attention, “Love Drought” seems to slip between the cracks with its hidden beauty. While it may lack the thrills of “Sorry” or “Hold Up,” this short video is, arguably, one of the best parts of the visual album. There is power in pairing sound and images; however, when the images can stand alone, you know you’ve hit gold. Beyoncé smashing car windows with a baseball bat will always remain a favorite scene; yet, the singer leading nine, beautiful, strong women into the cleansing waters has secured its spot in the sun goddess’ hall of fame.