The Beyhive has once again opened up and now ready to sting! Beyonce’ pulled a fast one on her devoted fans by releasing her fifth studio album as a surprise. The visual album includes 14 songs and 17 music videos to accompany every song. Although the album did come as the ultimate surprise, there were a few clues. For the past few months some pictures had surfaced on the blogosphere of her on location shooting music videos. However, that just gave hopefuls more hope that the project would soon be announced, but the ultimate happened. The album dropped at midnight exclusively on iTunes sending the Internet into frenzy on Friday the 13th without warning. And we should have seen this coming being that we knew she was working on new material and the tour had started with promise of an album this year. Not to mention she obsesses with the number 4, and Friday the 13th being a day that happens every so often, 1+3=4.
The self-titled album gives you the upbeat dance tunes we enjoy from the singer. The Pharrell Williams produced track “Blow” has an 80’s style that sounds like something Vanity 6 may have recorded, and the visual reminds you of “Jem and the Holograms” but will have you wanting a pair of roller skates after watching. It appears the project also introduced us to a new alter-ego of hers named “Yonce.” The alter ego does not only get her very own song, she is also referred to in “Partition” which is guaranteed to be a fan favorite. The song is explicit, but it’s the sexual lyrics in that will make your mouth drop to the floor.
“Driver roll up the partition please, I don’t need you seeing Yonce on her knees, Took 45 minutes to get all dressed up, we aint even gonna make it to the club, Now my mascara running, red lipstick smudged, oh he so horny yeah he want to f&*k,
He popped all my buttons and ripped my blouse, he Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown”
Along with “Yonce” and “Partition” another favorite will be “Flawless.” All three songs are beat dropping, bass knocking, catchy hook songs that people love to sing along to.
The album has appearances from rapper Drake on “Mine.”, Frank Ocean on the cinematic riddled “Superpower” and husband JayZ on “Drunk in Love,” where she sings about having wreck less, alcohol induced sex with her partner and riding his surfboard. Referring to the popular sexual position “Bathtub Boogie” from Cosmopolitan Magazine. Conscious song such as “Pretty Hurts” has a positive message, but also has the ability to get overlooked by other material on the album.
“Pretty hurts, shine the light on whatever’s worse, trying to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see, it’s the soul the needs surgery”
Then there’s “Heaven” that sounds as though she’s talking to the child she miscarried and candidly spoke about in her HBO documentary “Life Is But A Dream.” The tune tells a story of losing a loved one too soon. That song is then followed by “Blue” which is an ode to her daughter Blue Ivy that closes the album.
The album doesn’t showcase Beyonce’ showing off her singing chops at all. It’s just fun music for the diva that has spoken about so much in her music over the years. She no longer has to prove herself anymore to anyone beside herself. She’s still able to make music that’s relatable, but a majority of the albums material is racy and sexual, and is a reflection of where she’s at in her life. She’s a mother who has accomplished so much and a wife that just wants to please her husband in every way imaginable. It appears she decided to approach the music differently with this project. It’s not your traditional R&B/Pop album that has verse, chorus, verse, and then bridge. The songs are all over the place in a music exploratory way that isn’t boring. The only song on the album remotely close to a balled is the breezy and trance “XO” which isn’t a traditional balled, but has radio appeal and written by Terius Nash (The Dream). You also have the slow, sultry and bedroom track “Rocket” written by Miguel. With it’s every bit of six minutes and thirty –two seconds in length, that’s very reminiscent of D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”.
Countless will have many opinions due to the explicit content the album contains throughout, but this LP does have a message of imperfection and seems as if it were made for entertainment purpose. Hence the reason why the album went from being named “Mrs. Cater” to being self-titled “BEYONCE’.” Whenever you hear her name you know you’re about to be ENTERTAINED one way or another!