July 22, 2014
advice articles
A Real Time Reaction To Beyoncé

A Real Time Reaction To Beyoncé

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…

“Pretty Hurts”
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…

“Ghost”
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.

“Haunted”
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.

“Blow”
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.

“No Angel”
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…

“Yonce”
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???

“Partition”
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.

“Jealous”
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.

About RJ

RJ is a blogger/vlogger/writer and the other half of the NotAdamandSteve duo. When he's not making videos or writing stuff online he's usually working out, gorging himself on Chipotle, traveling, enjoying scotch, or spending quality time with his new fiancé and German Shepherd.
  • Stacia Hess

    That was a very thorough review of the album. I like how you reviewed each song and not the album as a whole. I think I will eventually buy this but it’s not on the top of the list of things I need. I am and I’m not a Beyoncé fan. I respect the hell out of her, she is a smart woman and talented and kudos to her for releasing this album in secret. I am so surprised no one leaked anything. I don’t like all of her songs but there are quite a few that I do like but not usually enough to get the album. I usually end up downloading different songs off of different albums. I’ve only downloaded an entire album maybe 3 times from an artist.

  • LittleDreamer

    I love Beyoncé’s music. I think this is a solid album. I expected more upbeat songs but I like most of her new songs. She took an unusual approach and I’m happy it worked out for her. I don’t think many contemporary artists could have pulled off something like this.
    But no matter what she releases next, I don’t think I’ll love an album of hers as much as I adore her previous one, 4. That one was incredibly great.

  • Marco

    About the “Blue” video, it’s just that she loves Brazil, so she wanted to show a little bit of our culture and her experience when she was here :)

  • Daniel Powell

    I love the songs “partition” and “jealous”. Blow is going to take some getting used to lol. Although R.J. “no angel” was not based on Beyoncé’s life growing up. Last time I checked she grew up in the suburbs of Houston in an upper-middle class neighborhood.

  • Crispy Walker

    This was a lot of fun to read and got me re-watching the videos again. This album is so damn good, and the whole visual-album concept with videos for every song makes it even better. She made an album and then basically turned it into a movie musical… all in secret. Shit’s amazing.

  • Amber

    From what I have read the song “Heaven” is about her miscarriage she had before Blue. The other girl in the video represented her daughter and activities she would have done with her had she lived. Beyonce directed the video herself and strategically placed Blue after the song. I love this album and the thought that came along with it. Glad to see you enjoyed it as well. Loved the review!

    Favorites: Haunted, Mine, Drunk In Love, Heaven, ***Flawless, Yonce

  • Vea

    This speaks perfectly how I felt listening to the album and watching the videos. I’m enjoying Beyoncé as an adult. Kudos to RJ for giving an honest review and I love the real time commentary.

  • Ronja Svensson

    Isn’t Heaven about her having a miscarriage? I think it is :(

  • Milton Mesquita

    If you ever come to Brazil, you will find out why Beyoncé comes every year and why there is so much of it in the video. Google about “Rio de Janeiro”, “Salvador Bahia” and “Trancoso Bahia”
    These are the places where she always stays and they are all in the video.
    Love you, guys! ;)

  • Mikayla Addis

    RJ, I am with you 100% with Partition! Every time I listen to it I wanna booty pop and grind on someone. Too bad I can’t twerk and I have no one to grind upon. Oh well, at least I can pretend I’m sexy jamming to it in my bedroom.

  • RJS

    Your review was the only reason I bought the whole album. I love Bey but haven’t bought a full album of anyone’s in years.

    Well done RJ.

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