A Level English Lit/Lang [OCR Exam Board]
Text: The Guardian: Live Music View
This is a live music review from The Guardian covering the opening night of Beyonce and Jay-Z's 'On The Run II' collaborative world tour, in 2018.
About this review
Audience: Beyonce/Jay-Z fans (or haters?), fans of author Rachel Aroesti, readers with interest in pop-culture and celebrities, anyone reading The Guardian.
Purpose: To review and recount the opening night of their 'On The Run 2' tour.
Subject: Beyonce and Jay-Z's performance/concert, the scandals.
Analysis - general points
Hyperbole: "self mythologising" - appears to be done to criticise the elevation of the carters as if they are better than all. This is reinforced by the later emphasis placed on their relationships failure.
Romantic lexis and juxtaposition: "tale of devotional love" - the use of "tale" juxtaposes the romanticisation of "devotional love" showing the antithetical nature of the carter's relationship.
Slang: "ride-or-die moll to her rumoured boyfriend's gangster" - the slang here emphasises where Beyonce and Jay-Z have come from. The fast pace use of dashes in "ride-or-die moll" suggests a level of condemnation to the notion of Beyonce just accompanying Jay-Z.
Anaphora: "the gangster and the queen" - places Beyonce as '"the queen" last giving her more power in this phrase and shows the change she has experienced from being just a "moll" preceding Jay-Z to now being a "queen" that can upstage him.
Intensifiers and critical tone: "far from living in codependent bliss" - the intensifying idiom of "far from" ads graphological distance between their portrayal of their conflicted relationship as "codependent bliss".
The critical tone implies that the idea they are "far from" "codependent bliss" is shared by many and is obvious to any viewer.
Clinical lexis: "narrative has been reclibrated" - this suggests that they are detached from the true story of their relationship and have "recalibrated" it to fit their own desires.
Mechanical lexis: "recalibrated" - the use of "recalibrated" connotes mechanisation as if their relationship works like an impersonal machine than a real human love affair.
Alliteration and an idiomatic phrase: "hammering home" - this suggests that they are only trying to sell this false notion of love to their reviews.
This use of alliterative idiom shows Aroesti condemning their attempt to profit off their love.
The alliteration suggests it is a futile attempt to due to the need to repeat it.
Hyperbole: "deathness nature of their love" - the hyperbole suggests that their love is being given agency over the carter's but that Aroesti believes the power is given to it is false and all for show, due to her mocking tone.
Antithesis, juxtaposition, low-frequency lexis and sub-clauses: "remarkably intimate for a stadium show; but scrupulously posed" - the antithesis in "intimate for a stadium show" shows Aroesti genuine surprise at the intimacy shown but also supports that fundamentally intimacy cannot be done on that large a scale.
This implies that Beyonce and Jay-Z have achieved something many cannot by inviting their audience into their relationship.
The low frequency lexis of "scrupulously posed" shows that this is uncommon to be seen by the general public, showing it to be a disingenuous way to show a relationship.
The syntax of the sentence places the idea that they are "posed" at the end. The use of it as a sub-clause implies this notion is meant to be hidden from the audience to make the love between them feel real.
Juxtaposition: "crazed lust and ballads about romantic betrayal" - shows the antithetical nature of Beyonce and her music in a way to flatter her and show her "chameleonic" ability.
Use of "chameleonic" later acts as an anaphoric reference to continue this notion.
Metaphor: "psychodrama in cartoonish panto format" - this metaphor is clearly very condemning of the concert as if it uses elevated conflicts and personality to entice its audience in.
Infantile tone: "gaze at each other moonishly" - the infantile tone here suggests that Beyonce and Jay-Z's relationship has a level of immature idolisation of one another.
Juxtaposition: "matrimonial love... come off as slightly one-dimensional" - the juxtaposition between the two ideas of "matrimonial love" being "one-dimensional" gives an antithetical nature to their marriage.
Alliteration and diminishing of Jay-Z: "her rapper husband for a ride as he hitches his wagon to her staggering cultural capital" - the diminishing of Jay-Z through only saying he is a "rapper" and not acknowledging his other qualities. Contrasting Aroesti's portrayal of Beyonce as owning "staggering cultural capital".
The alliteration of "cultural capital" emphasises the power that Beyonce has in society.
Asyndetic listing: "arsenal of glorious modern classics (99 Problems, *s in Paris, Big Pimpin)" - the use of asyndetic tricolon of all of Jay-Z's "glorious modern classics" are subject specific to Jay-Z's success, the only time she praises him.
The three adjectives "glorious modern classics" emphasises the power this music has and that they are of cultural significance.
Premodifiers and litotes for comedic effect: "his excessive costume changes, which put Beyonce's meagre half-dozen sequined leotards in the shade" - the use of the premodifier suggests Jay-Z is overcompensating for his lack of stardom..
Her use of litotes for comedic effect here shows her subtle criticism of Beyonce and Jay-Z's various costumes as if they are trying to compete with one another.
Subject-specific lexis: "Lemonade's Led Zepplin-sampling Jack White collaboration Don't Hurt Yourself" - the use of he many subject-specific words here show the many accolades of Beyonce and it also shows Aroesti's knowledge of Beyonce.
Metaphor: "evergreen 2003 hit Crazy in Love" - the metaphor of "evergreen hit" suggests that it will never age that it holds power.
Use of lexis of matrimony: "sheer majesty of their creative partnership, which surely only death could part" - the use of the lexis of matrimony with "death could do part" shows that their marriage is interwoven with their "creative partnership". The use of the word "partnership" suggests that their relationship has a business side to it.
Beyonce and Jay-Z are a very famous 'power couple' who have gone on tour together as a couple twice, this being their second one.
They have been married since 2008 and have had 3 children together.
Some scandals have happened, including Jay-Z supposedly cheating on Beyonce, which put their otherwise idolised marriage under scrutiny.
The author, Rachel Aroesti, is a freelance writer who specialises in pop culture. She is quite biased to Beyonce in this piece, probably due to sympathy for Jay-Z's cheating.
The Guardian is a left-wing newspaper who have garnered a reputation for being reliable and well-informed.