The Song: Oh wow, I haven’t heard a slow R&B track like this in years. This takes me back to so many of the slow dances I did in middle school. I feel like Beyonce has just been making love to my ears for the past hour with this album so far…and I am more than okay with that.
The Video: Oh wow, now Beyonce is making love to my eyes. I’m literally watching her seduce me in slow motion. I guess this is slightly different than, say, “Partition”. That track is about hot, raunchy, nighttime love. This is the more sensual, next morning and on into the afternoon type lovemaking. I love the different visual metaphors for sex are in this video. It’s like playing “spot the innuendo”. Wait, was that a power drill???
The Song: More slow and soulful music and lyrics. Then, all of a sudden, we take off. The tempo increases a little bit, and now we’re back into the jealous, obsessive territory. She’s talking about wanting to marry Jay. “I just want to say you’re mine.” I’m guessing Drake is supposed to play the part of Jay-Z in this song? His singing is pretty solid, but I can certainly do without his raps. He gets a “C”. I really like the beat to this song though…
The Video: I certainly appreciate Bey’s recreation of the Pieta. I love the juxtaposition of the very majestic beginning with the more chaotic main part of the song. I like the dancing a lot. I’m just not sure I get the significance of the whole faceless people thing. Although I get the whole gist of the “yours” and “mine” labels. It’s all about wanting to be able to claim someone as your own. Once again, I’m underwhelmed by Drake.
The Song: Not sure how I feel about this intro and the really wet synth. The whole beat for this song is really odd, actually. It builds to a really nice crescendo, at least. This is certainly not as hip-hoppy as other tracks on this album. It almost has a more indy feel to it.
The Video: More of Bey out in the world for this video. If I had to describe this video, and song, in one word, it would be exuberant. Bey is in a carnival and smiling all over the place, and it makes me want to smile. I feel like this song is meant to capture “young love”. The more I listen to it, the more I actually like it.
The Song: Oh shit. All I’ve heard is the audio sample at the beginning, and I already know that shit’s about to go down. Oh shit. I love how the synth in this song sounds like the music from an 8-bit boss battle, but with a shit ton of bass. “Bow down, bitches.” Oh I will, Bey. Did she just bust out a sample from a feminist lecture??? NO SHE FUCKING DIDN’T!!! OH YES SHE FUCKING DID!!! “Ladies, we flawless.” Yes, Bey, you certainly are.
The Video: I love how, when Bey first stares into the camera in this video, you see her turn and you legit fear for your safety. Is that a mosh pit? IS THAT BEYONCE HEAD BANGING? Bey is literally in a mosh pit of faux-skinheads. And she’s not the only woman in the pit. I love this. I love this dance. That whole “I woke up like this”…but I’m still flawless message. And the fact that she shows the clip at the end from Star Search where Girls Time loses to a band of guys. God, I’m so pissed at the patriarchy right now.
The Song: Um, that doo-wop came out of nowhere. But I totally get what the lyrics are saying. When you’re in love, something happens. Something is different about the both of you. Together, the two of you are more than just two people. I love the concept of this song. Just not sure if the doo-wop is doing it for me, though. I do like the way she and Frank Ocean duet though.
The Video: Very interesting juxtaposition, the whole revolution in the streets thing. Is she wearing a burqua?? Or at least something that’s supposed to allude to that? That’s bold. Okay now people are walking in these weird outfits and she’s singing about love. I don’t understand what’s going on. I really don’t understand the juxtaposition of this video at all. Is love supposed to be the message behind this violent revolution? Now Kelly and Michelle are in this riot? And Pharrell? I’m so confused. Oh, and now they’re holding hands instead of fighting. I guess I get it.
The Song: This is nice. Just Bey and a piano and a beat and that’s hit. Oh wait, she’s saying goodbye to someone who died. This just took a turn for the sad, but I’m actually on board. This is my first time listening to this song, and I already want this played at my funeral. This is absolutely beautiful. The fact that there’s a prayer at the end in Spanish just makes it that much more fitting.
The Video: Now here I thought this song was about, say, an older loved one who got sick or something. Now, from the looks of these flashback and all of the wild times Bey and this friend had, I think it more has to do with someone who died young, which makes it even more sad and tragic. Okay, what is with that end, though? Epilepsy much?
The Song: Oh my God. This song is making me so emotional. The lyrics are so incredibly succinct and authentic. The love she experiences when she sees and holds her child, and also that sense of protection that she feels. AWWWW SHE ENDED THE SONG WITH HER DAUGHTER LAUGHING. That’s how she ended the audio album. I can’t even. No words.
The Video: Wait…why are they in South America or something? This looks like someone’s old vacation footage from Brazil or something. I like that Bey has no makeup on and that she’s sharing little moments with her child. I just don’t get why this video is so big on showing everything about the place that they’re in. I guess it’s because they’re showing a lot of local kids? Aw, but there’s Blue! She’s so cute! Don’t do it, RJ. Don’t cry. Damn it. Where are the Kleenex?
The Song: Yay! It’s the fast, dancey track from that one Pepsi commercial! I liked this song then, and I like it now. It’s fun.
The Video: This video is so much fun. It’s taking various old home movies and old footage from her early career and revamping them digitally to fit together as a music video. Then she starts dancing through the decades. It’s a neat concept that’s fun to watch visually. I approve. Oh, wait, is that her and her mom? Aw…
All in all, this is definitely a solid album. We’ve got a whole bunch of pop stars out there who keep masquerading behind outlandish costumes and flashy performances to hide the fact that there’s not as much substance in their work. I can tell that Bey dug deep for this album. She bared her soul with these tracks. Even if I didn’t necessarily like the execution for certain tracks, I can’t help but respect the shit out of her for this album. It’s some damn good work.
Highlights: “Ghost/Haunted”, “Yonce/Partition”, “Jealous”, “***Flawless”, “Heaven”.