Black Is King 2020
Description: Visual album from Beyoncé inspired by ‘The Lion King’.
To be quite honest, I do not know why you are even here. Nothing I say, pro or con, is going to alter your desire to see “Black Is King,” especially if you are a fan of its star and creative force, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Even if you are not, it’s been hyped six ways until Sunday, all but ensuring a sense of “fear of missing out” if you do not tune into Disney+. Besides, the written word cannot completely relay the experience of watching it. Reviewing a visual album is like reviewing a stand-up comedy movie—offering a play-by-play of the material simply won’t do it justice.
All I can do is offer an opinion and leave you to your own devices. But I’ll try anyway.
The sole fact I can report is that this is inspired by the album The Lion King: The Gift, which in turn was inspired by last year’s remake of “The Lion King.” However, “Black Is King” worked best for me when I was able to forget it had anything to do with Simba and company. Still, the way Beyoncé melds this film’s imagery in the closing number with “Spirit,” her contribution to “The Lion King”’s soundtrack, gave me a newfound appreciation for the song. It begins with Beyoncé, clad in yellow and standing in a beam of light emanating from a church window, singing the opening verse.
When the camera pulls back to reveal a choir decked out in a complementary color, the image has the reverential pull of a Sunday service. The vocal harmonies coupled with the striking fashion design by Zerina Akers bring forth a visual and aural exaltation.
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy