Posted in hiphop | music on December 13, 2013

by Andrew Sacher

Beyonce

If you've been on the internet at all today, you probably know that the event of the day is that Beyonce released a self-titled album with no singles and no announcements on iTunes around midnight. By now you've most likely already heard it or intentionally haven't listened to it, and I think as much as anyone else that we shouldn't review this thing immediately (and we can save it for our Best of 2014 lists, right?). That being said, it's also been fun to spend the day discussing the album, so let's discuss.

The album's only guest spots come from deservedly big names Jay Z ("Drunk in Love") Frank Ocean ("Superpower") and Drake ("Mine"), plus a moving feminist speech from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on "Flawless" (a reworking of "Bow Down"), and her daughter Blue Ivy on the album's final track, "Blue." There's also co-writing/production credits from Miguel, Caroline Polachek (of Chairlift), Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Sia, Drake producer Noah "40" Shebib and others. That cast isn't too surprising (except maybe Caroline Polachek), but it's a nice reminder if you needed it that certain big name artists are consistently working with the artists that complement them best, rather than just piling on other big name guests.

As I write this I'm on my fifth listen, and the album itself is sounding pretty impressive so far. Her last album, 4, was maybe the first Beyonce album to truly contain no filler, but even most of that album got overshadowed by standout singles like "Countdown" and "Love on Top." At the moment, it's not sounding like there's a track on Beyonce that could be a standout single, which is maybe why, like the similarly album-oriented Yeezus, they chose to release it without any preceding singles. (You also won't be able to purchase individual tracks on iTunes until December 20.) Like Yeezus, and The 20/20 Experience, Beyonce is instead a new album from a megastar that uses her status to unveil a full-length collection of forward-thinking music to the mainstream, the underground, and well, just about everybody. The future-R&B that guests Frank Ocean and Drake make on their own albums is the style most prevalent here, and mixing that with one of the most undeniably great voices in today's pop music makes Beyonce a hell of a listen.

You also may have heard that Beyonce is calling the album a "visual album," and it was released with 17 videos for the 14 tracks (a few bonus videos included). You can watch a playlist of 30-second clips of each video, along with the tracklist, below...

---

Beyonce - Beyonce Preview Videos

Beyonce Tracklist:
1. Pretty Hurts
2. Haunted
3. Drunk in Love (Featuring Jay Z)
4. Blow/Cherry
5. Angel
6. Yoncé/Partition
7. Jealous
8. Rocket
9. Mine (Featuring Drake)
10. XO
11. Flawless (Featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
12. Superpower (Featuring Frank Ocean)
13. Heaven
14. Blue (Featuring Blue Ivy)

Videos:
1. Pretty Hurts - directed by Melina Matsoukas
2. Ghost - directed by Pierre Debusschere
3. Haunted - directed by Jonas Åkerlund
4. Drunk in Love - directed by Hype Williams
5. Blow - directed by Hype Williams
6. Angel - directed by @lilinternet
7. Yoncé - directed by Ricky Saiz
8. Partition - directed by Jake Nava
9. Jealous - directed by Beyoncé, Francesco Carrozzini & Todd Tourso
10. Rocket - directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke & Bill Kirstein
11 .Mine - directed by Pierre Debusschere
12. XO - directed by Terry Richardson
13. ***Flawless - directed by Jake Nava
14. Superpower - directed by Jonas Åkerlund
15. Heaven -directed by Beyoncé & Todd Tourso
16. Blue - directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke & Bill Kirstein
17. **BONUS VIDEO - Grown Woman - directed by Jake Nava

--

---

      

Comments (39)

Imagine how boring you'd have to be to be interested in this.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 3:20 PM

Imagine!

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 3:24 PM

"If you've been on the internet at all today, you probably know that the event of the day is that Beyonce released a self-titled album with no singles and no announcements on iTunes around midnight. By now you've most likely already heard it or intentionally haven't listened to it, and I think as much as anyone else that we shouldn't review this thing immediately (and we can save it for our Best of 2014 lists, right?)."

There is so much wrong about this opening paragraph, so many questions come to mind:
1. The event of the day??
2. Is not listening due to total indifference different from intentionally haven't listened to it?
3. What shouldn't you review a new release immediately?
4. Why does a blog become a slave to music industry timetables that dictate a title released in December should be considered a 2014 release? If this album is so great, why shouldn't year end lists be revised to include it? Does anyone really care that Magical Mystery Tour or John Wesley Harding were released in December 1967 and therefore should only be on best of lists of 1968?
5. Did anyone notice Magna Carta Holy Grail was left off almost every reputable year end poll?
6. Should I "put a ring on it"?

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 3:31 PM

What fucking blog am i on?

You listened to this crap 5 times already? Couldn't you find something more productive to do with your day like say step in front of a moving bus?

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 3:34 PM

THIS BLOG WILL NEVER BE WHAT IT ONCE WAS

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 3:38 PM

Oh brother...

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 3:38 PM

Who GIVES a shit. Isn't this an indie music blog? I know she's pretending to be a vegan right now, but I would think all the animals she wears would disqualify her from this blog.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 3:40 PM

you've listened to this album five times today?

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 3:49 PM

"As I write this I'm on my fifth listen"

This must be the author's attempt at irony -- I laughed out loud when I read it.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 3:54 PM

Yes, more praise for the garbage family that beefed up security at Lenox Hill so much for their baby's birth that other parents had to wait hours to see their spouses and kids.

Keep the pop music coming, BV! This blog is definitely not a sad shadow of what it used to be! Not at all!

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 3:55 PM

damn i wish someone good would come out with a surprise album or something

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 4:05 PM

Fuck.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 4:21 PM

this>

"What fucking blog am i on?
You listened to this crap 5 times already? Couldn't you find something more productive to do with your day like say step in front of a moving bus?"

Thank you. The downward spiral that BV has been on as of late ... there can not be enough fucks to give towards how I feel about this. Piss poor writing and Top 40 garbage. Congratulations, BV, you're now mainstream.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 4:23 PM

I hope the writers on this site aren't paid. Jesus.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 4:36 PM

Commenters:

Morrissey is mainstream too. Calm down. Sometimes BV covers mainstream stuff and sometimes they cover the most poorly attended show of the week at Cameo. It is what it is.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 4:52 PM

She's a vegan. Her husband is from Brooklyn.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 4:52 PM

^So is my sister but you don't see BV covering her. She sings into the voicemails of my entire family and it's way better than anything Beyonce has released.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 6:58 PM

If there's one thing gays and white women can agree on on, it's this.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 7:22 PM

This album (if it were a hummus platter) would certainly not be robust.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 7:28 PM

Ha ha at all the indier-than-thou bv readers that can't take a little Beyonce coverage. Relax, she's Solange's sister after all.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 7:42 PM

More Klaus please.

Posted by JthePatriot | December 13, 2013 7:59 PM

She's a cow.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 8:17 PM

Did you hear? Beyone broke the Internet

one more person who writes that, I'm gonna punch in the balls

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 8:38 PM

This album is about as tempting as a buffet of sour hummus.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 8:53 PM

"punch in the balls"

Everyone says THAT too you fucking dolt.

Next person to say THAT is going to get punched in the fucking face

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 9:43 PM

skin bleaching blonde hair nose jobs strong black woman

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 9:50 PM

the iPods, the iPods

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2013 9:53 PM

For someone who can barely speak English, she sure knows how to write hit songs....lets just ignore the 8 co-writers who helped and were barely credited along the way to make this piece of art possible

Posted by Anonymous | December 14, 2013 12:43 AM

youre fucking stupid bv

Posted by Anonymous | December 14, 2013 1:51 AM

That's 5 more times than I'll ever listen to it.

Posted by Anonymous | December 14, 2013 2:08 AM

so metal

Posted by Anonymous | December 14, 2013 10:51 AM

i would like to smear some hummus on beyonce and lick it off

Posted by Anonymous | December 14, 2013 11:43 AM

what dog shit.......there is no surprise in shaking your ass and performing dubbed over songs......how sad this is as popular as it is....

Posted by anonymous.com | December 14, 2013 2:42 PM

i thought this was a music blog

Posted by Anonymous | December 14, 2013 6:29 PM

woke up, got outta bed, ran a comb across my head,
learned beyonce released an album today,
no better way to start the day,
ahhhhhhhh ahhh ahhhhh ahhhhhh

Posted by Anonymous | December 14, 2013 10:34 PM

Beyonce is pure shit as music goes. The more of this kinda crap that is posted, the less i fine myself reading this site. Save this pop, commervial garbage for others places to cover. You built a following here of people NOT wanting to read about mainstream shit.

Posted by o0o0 | December 15, 2013 11:46 AM

A. Sacher must be on his 20th listen by now (just extrapolating from his initial rate with an adjustment for night hours).

Posted by Anonymous | December 15, 2013 2:04 PM

Wow, I've never come across a sadder group of people in my life. The time it took all of you to spew forth how much you hate Beyoncé's music is amazing. Simply amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2013 9:42 PM

I love beyonce! I actually find her pretty awesome! She's such a great performer.

Posted by Sandra Dyche | December 31, 2013 1:58 PM

Leave a Comment