If you were wondering why Beyonce fans with a Apple product were going crazy Thursday night, Beyoncé has released her new album. It appears to be called BEYONCÉ — either that or it has no ti*le at all — and is being dubbed as a “visual album,” which continues 2013’s trend of pop stars delivering highly anticipated albums in highly impractical formats. Let’s blame it on “disruption.
The album — her fifth — has 14 tracks and 18 videos, making this like the Beyoncé version of storing food as you go to hibernate for the winter. Features include Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean, the rest of Destiny’s Child, and daughter Blue Ivy, with production from Timbaland and Pharrell (amongst others).
The accompanying clips are variously shot in global locations including France, Brazil, Australia and America, and in some cases resemble high-budget holiday videos – seems annoyingly like a you-can-have-it-all boast: all this power and luxury, and a happy family too!
Which is rather ironic, as the album likewise seeks to have its cake and eat it – an apt metaphor, in the circu*stances. Following Beyoncé’s bland assertion that “My aspiration in life would be… to be happy”, the opening track “Pretty Hurts” deals with the insecurity and anxieties of a girl undergoing cosmetic surgery, rooted in parental pressure – “Mama said, ‘You’re a pretty girl, what’s in your head, it doesn’t matter’”.
It’s the best thing on the album by far, an undeniably noble attempt to boost female morale which finds its echo later in the feminist manifesto of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie featured in “ Flawless”; yet the rest of the album is an unashamed celebration of the very physical virtues, and the ultimate fulfillment of se*uality they inevitably bring, which leads so many women to suffer those anxieties in the first place.
The track listing is as follows:
- Pretty Hurts
- Drunk In Love (Ft Jay Z)
- Mine (Featuring Drake)
- ***Flawless (Featuring/ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
- Superpower (Featuring Frank Ocean)
- Blue (Featuring Blue Ivy)
The album can be downloaded from itunes at www.itunes.com/beyonce