Beyonce’s Lemonade represents a pioneering realization of the medium of the visual album. Though others, including Beyonce herself, have experimented with the concept before, Lemonade’s excellence and influence is sure to set the standard for our expectations around this new medium.
Video content alone can activate a powerful flood of dopamine in the brain. Adding the sensory and emotional experience of music will expand our pleasure even more by adding other neurochemicals like serotonin (the calming yin to dopamine’s yang) and oxytocin (for feelings of human connection). As the content we consume becomes increasingly video-based, we will quickly become habituated to the large dumps of dopamine and other feel-good brain chemicals this combination of content provides. Eventually we may come to find music by itself to be unable to hold our interest, akin to watching an old movie without sound.
Given the neurobiological effect of music combined with video, and our society’s current state of addiction to dopamine over-saturation, it seems likely that the visual album will become the entertainment standard.
by contributor, Devon McNaughton in collaboration with D.C. McGuire