I don’t have to tell you that Beyonce released a new album out of nowhere last week. If you so much as logged on to the web that day, you probably saw everyone absolutely lose their minds over it. Whether you love or hate her, you have to recognize that what she did was absolutely remarkable. Not only did this “visual album” have a music video for every single song, but she released it without any sort of advance press whatsoever, and she still broke records. I am, of course, saying all of this without actually seeing or hearing any of it. That is…until now.
I just purchased the album, and I’m going to listen and watch it right now, and write down my immediate reactions right here in this post. Here goes nothing…
The Song: Wait, was that Harvey Keitel? Random. But I’m digging the concept behind this song. The beat’s nice, but the song sounds a bit happy and upbeat considering the subject matter. I feel like Marina’s “Valley of the Dolls” set a slightly better tone. But I suppose this one’s more about empowerment, since she asks “are you happy with yourself?”
The Video: I definitely get what this video is trying to say. It’s not exactly subtle in making it’s point. But this video definitely still packs an emotional punch. Oh, yeah, that is Harvey Keitel. Random. I can’t help but wonder how true to life this video is. That scene with her and the short hair and the mirror definitely looks like it’s authentic. Oh wow. That last clip definitely confirms a few suspicions…
The Song: Is this not an actual song on the album? Just a video? Odd. I’m not sure if this song counts as rap or spoken word. The distortions are certainly eerie. Definitely a more experimental track. And I love the way she ends it. “Perfection is so…eh.” Of course it is, Bey.
The Video: That’s really cool how the sound transitions from one video to the next. This video is so incredibly gay, just with how it’s shot and edited. I feel like I’m watching something by Kazaky. It does have a slightly eerie edge to it, but I absolutely love it.
The Song: Ah, I recognize this beat. Oh wait, this is track from the “Ghost” video, but longer. Holy shit, this is some baby making music. It’s a slow beat with a nice edge to it, at least until you get to that slow, soulful piano bridge, which transitions into a more tribal beat. God damn, this is sexy. I can’t decide whether I want to have sex or do an interpretive dance. I guess I’ll just do both at the same time.
The Video: Okay, this is some American Horror Story shit going on at the beginning. Digging Bey’s flapper look though (and that butler…woof). Oh I get it, this is the second half of “Haunted” the song. Not sure if I get all the stuff that’s supposed to be going on in each of these rooms. I am living for this bedroom dance sequence though. So. Effing. Hot.
“Drunk In Love”
The Song: Loving this beat, and I love how she is putting so much emotion into these words. And I love how the lyrics don’t romanticize water as much. It feels really honest and authentic.
The Video: Oh cool! A trophy from an earlier video. So I’m guessing it’s not just a collection of videos..there’ll be reoccurring themes throughout. I like that a lot, actually. This looks like a very, very simple video. One location, one outfit. Just Bey on a beach. She looks like she’s having so much fun though! I especially love it when she mouths parts to her husband’s rap. That’s absolutely adorable.
The Song: Oh wow, wasn’t expecting something so 8-bit sounding. Not sure how I feel about it just yet. Digging the guitar accents, though. And lyrics are certainly raunchy without being explicit. I love, love, LOVE how Bey is all like “I’m a grown ass woman, and I like gettin’ dirty” with this song. I more than support this philosophy. There’s no need to pretend we all don’t have a pervert inside of us. “Turn that cherry out”…indeed. Definitely digging this second beat a lot.
The Video: Oh my god. That bike. That outfit at the beginning. This roller disco thing definitely suits the 8-bit feel of the beginning of the track, as does the slightly-sped-up dance sequence. That sequence with the black lights and the neon stuff that’s glowing…very fun and cute. Then it get’s a bit more raunchy and unhinged at the second part.
The Song: Bey’s vocals are very high and breathy for this song. I suppose it does fit the slow, bump and grind nature of the song. Totally get where this song is going. When you meet a person, there’s a difference between what they portray at first and who they really are. This song is about breaking down those barriers. If I had to describe the feel Bey is going for with her songs thus far in one word, it would be “authenticity”.
The Video: Along the lines of this whole “breaking down barriers” idea, I’m guessing Bey is trying to take us back to her roots with this video, by showing the various characters from the kind of neighborhood where she grew up. Of course, she’s also wearing a gleaming white fur coat at one point, which looks pretty angelic to me…
The Song: Another video that’s not its own song. Oh wow, her ghetto side is definitely coming out with this track. A nice, booty-poppin bass…not to mention that she sings and she raps in this song. And can we talk about how she mentions how everyone else seems to be speeding up their pop tracks while she’s slowing hers down. Too true. Way to call these other bitches out, Bey. I also love the audio samples from paparazzi.
The Video: Oh wow, Yonce’s thug is definitely coming out. The grills, the revealing outfits…it’s certainly the stuff of countless rap videos, except Bey is still able to maintain just a slight air of class throughout the whole thing. Wait, DID THAT GIRL JUST LICK HER???
The Song: Ah, here comes the song from Yonce again. Although I love the beginning audio “Hey, Mrs. Carter” sample from her show. This song makes me want to grind up against someone…something…anything. A tree or a lamp post even, as long as I have this track in my ears, I don’t care. Oh wait. Here’s part two of the track. Holy shit, it’s even raunchier. She’s actually talking about when they get back home. Where is Will? I need him right now. The French just makes it even better.
The Video: Oh wow, the fact that everything is so glitzy and glamorous adds a new layer to it. This isn’t just sex, this is rich people sex. I do love how she’s using her husband as the sex object in the video and not just some random model or actor. THis whole video feels like a strip show just for Jay-Z, that lucky bastard. Oh wait, there he is in the audience watching her. And she looks like she wants to turn him out.
The Song: Oh shit. It’s been like five seconds and I know this song is gonna be fierce. Can we talk about how much I absolutely love these lyrics? They are so succinct and describe what she’s feeling so well. It’s so honest and so sincere.
The Video: Oh cool, it’s in the same location as the video for “Partition”. I’m guessing this is supposed to show the two sides to her and Jay’s relationship. Oh damn, Bey is pissed in this video, which just adds to the lyrics. This video is just dripping with authenticity. I can certainly feel where she;s coming from with this song. And the ending where she hugs him is so incredibly sweet. I got a little misty eyed.