Beyoncé - BEYONCE

Bey just surprised everyone by releasing her self-titled fifth solo album exclusively on iTunes. The BEYONCÉ “visual album” includes 14 songs — featuring musical collaborations with Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland, Justin Timberlake, Blue Ivy, The-Dream, Sia, Miguel, Hit-Boy, Caroline Polachek, Noah “40″ Shebib, and others — and 17 videos from directors like Jonas Akerlund, Hype Williams, @lilinternet, and Terry Richardson.

Here’s Beyoncé via press release:

“I see music. It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music.

I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.

I just want to give my album to the people I love and respect and hope that they feel the same thing I felt when I made the music.”

Get downloading here and view the tracklist and a playlist previewing all the videos below.

SONGS:
01. “Pretty Hurts”
02. “Haunted”
03. “Drunk In Love” (Featuring JAY Z)
04. “Blow”/”Cherry”
05. “Angel”
06. “Yoncé”/”Partition”
07. “Jealous”
08. “Rocket”
09. “Mine” (Featuring Drake)
10. “XO”
11. “Flawless” (Featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
12. “Superpower” (Featuring Frank Ocean)
13. “Heaven”
14. “Blue” (Featuring Blue Ivy)

VIDEOS:
01. “Pretty Hurts” – directed by Melina Matsoukas
02. “Ghost” – directed by Pierre Debusschere
03. “Haunted” – directed by Jonas Åkerlund
04. “Drunk In Love” – directed by Hype Williams
05. “Blow” – directed by Hype Williams
06. “Angel” – directed by @lilinternet
07. “Yoncé” – directed by Ricky Saiz
08. “Partition” – directed by Jake Nava
09. “Jealous” – directed by Beyoncé, Francesco Carrozzini & Todd Tourso
10. “Rocket” – directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke & Bill Kirstein
11 .”Mine” – directed by Pierre Debusschere
12. “XO” – directed by Terry Richardson
13. “Flawless” – directed by Jake Nava
14. “Superpower” – directed by Jonas Åkerlund
15. “Heaven” -directed by Beyoncé & Todd Tourso
16. “Blue” – directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke & Bill Kirstein
17. BONUS VIDEO – “Grown Woman” – directed by Jake Nava

According to iTunes, songs won’t be available for individual purchase until 12/20. A double CD/DVD via Columbia Records will be in stores before Christmas.

Comments (82)
  1. iTunes might break.

  2. thank you beyonce

  3. Beyonce just pulled a Death Grips

  4. “Beyonce’s fifth studio endevor is a provocative, unguarded artistic statement – revealing a side of the icon previously unknown to fans and cementing her status as a pop visonary.” From Itunes.

    What a bunch of hype bullshit. But damn, it actually is pretty good.

  5. Haven’t heard the whole thing (Damn my not having iTunes)…but the production sounds pretty fantastic from those short snippets.

  6. I’m three tracks in but it’s very good so far, I really liked the first two tracks especially. This seems to be her attempt at a pop statement album (I’m thinking of things like Madonna’s Like a Prayer or Ray of Light, or more recently MBDTF and Channel Orange etc.) and it’s obviously too soon to wonder whether its anywhere near those (honestly, I’m not she can reach those heights even if she tried). But at the very least it does blow the other attempt at a pop statement album this year (Artpop) out of the water.

    Haha, Artpop. Hahaha. I kind of hope it’s just a bad joke.

    • I like the thought here, but I had to downvote you for questioning Beyonce’s ability to reach the heights of those artists. She’s got some serious talent, and man, if she made an album of tracks like Haunted it’d be no question. A dark slithering monster of a track.

      • It’s not so much a lack of talent so much as the subject matter she tends to address and how personal she tends to get. I’m almost done now and there are tons of incredible songs on the album, but I’ll see how I feel about it after a few listens. Like part of what made those albums so great to me were the overly confessional tones / total abandonment of self-consciousness etc. and after seeing stuff like her HBO documentary it’s hard to see her making something in the same vein. Not sure if that made sense, but yeah.

      • I like the thought here, but I had to downvote you for downvoting someone because you disagreed with an opinion.

        • I thumbs’down’d you for that ridiculous facebook profile pic. Congrats: you have a very attractive wife/gf/sister. Now get over it and stop sticking your good fortune in our faces, asking us to sniff it. It’s just lame.

          • I thumbs up’d you because you like my wife/gf/sister/mother’s boobs.

          • I thumbs’down’d you for complacency regarding your wife/gf/sister’s boobs on the internet. Boy, Bey be knocking you for projectin’ that shit.

          • thumbsdown on that follow up post about boobs. You probably spent like twenty minutes getting one that perfect picture. Stop banging us over the head, we get the point: you are way out of your on the physical basis and must be very good at something and make bank. You probably drive a sweet BMW and drive like a total entitled douche.

            But your wife/gf/sister is not a BMW and you should stop treating her like that. Waxing her, washing her, running your fingers over her, putting gas in her tank, buffing her, etc.

            That’s not appropriate visual discourse for this website, or our country.

          • I can’t tell if you’re serious or not. It’s my profile picture because it’s a goofy picture and I like to ride bikes with my girlfriend of 8 years. You’re the one objectifying her by taking offense to my profile picture. The boob thing was a joke because you’re being fucking weird and judgmental about a profile picture.

            If you’re just trolling then ignore this I guess.

          • Sorry dog. Pure joking! I thought you were in on it given your thumbsupping my initial comment. Also, I thought my comment about “gf not being a BMW” was obviously facetious, I see now that I did cross a line there. So my apologies.

            I don’t really have an opinion on “appropriate visual discourse” but I think your profile pic is tremendous! So thumbs up to you, sir.

  7. Blue Ivy’s rap skills be whack nigga, her verse was weak as fuck…flow be lacking

  8. Beyonce just ruined my best music of 2013 list

  9. beyonce sucks

  10. This is too close to Christmas. What product is she telling us to buy? Jay-Z was very clear about Samsung, and I don’t have time to figure this out.

  11. SHE WATCHED THE THRONE. And the crown is once again secure. Queen B reigns.

    I mean, seriously. These music videos. This is a pop culture moment, and let’s recognize that right now.

  12. *looks up from listening to Burial*

    huh?

    *goes back to listening to Burial*

  13. Caroline Polachek of Chairlift wrote and produced track #5 “Angel” according to a tweet she sent out.

  14. Its no Yeezus

  15. And suddenly, I can hear the panicked cries for help at SPIN and Pitchfork as they frantically click the “Edit” buttons on their End of the Year articles whilst their chubby little fingers sweat and bleed because they can’t type or click fast enough.

  16. This is the B album we’ve all wanted.

    I’m assuming that’s timbo drum programming on drunk in love? It is grade A skitter boom-PAP.

  17. Haven’t listened/seen it yet and it will likely be a long time (if ever) before I do so with the entire release. Regardless, I’ll give her credit for following the muse. Those aren’t cheap videos/directors, first of all. Second, no matter how you feel about her as an artist, or about her art, she is one of the biggest music “stars” of the last, what? Fifteen years? There would normally be six months to a year of industry build and push for an release like this (and singles serviced to multiple radio formats). For an artist of that magnitude (in industry standards) to drop an album that NOBODY knew about LITERALLY over night is very refreshing. The lack of hype certainly made me more interested in checking it out. It seems as though most people think it’s good, too, which is a nice bonus.

    • I agree that it’s a big applause to B for keeping this one under wraps (and maybe we should also be recognizing the fact that her press machine can maketh buzz as well as taketh it away as they pelase to perfection,) but I would beg to differ and say there has been some build towards this album — albeit, ambiguously — despite there not being any official word it was being made or its arrival was imminent. Since it was announced she was doing the Superbowl halftime show last year on top of her massive tour, she threw out “Bow Down” and “Grown Woman.” Yes, they’re nowhere to be found here, but it all amounts to a climactic satisfaction in 2013 at the stroke of midnight last night when it all finally came together. I perceive the self-releasing of this effort to be an artistic expression, but I would not be surprised if at some point in 2014, this leads to a commercial-pandering album featuring the aforementioned non-album singles.

      • Yeah, there was definitely a subtle buildup and there was even some chatter in the Twitterverse of some new Beyonce dropping today, though I assumed it would be a single.

        I don’t think there’s going to be any follow up album to this, though. I think the reports back in July that Beyonce basically scrapped the whole album were true — “Bow Down” and “Grown Woman” are very indicative of what this album would have sounded like had things not been left on the cutting room floor. The good parts of “Bow Down” are already present on “Flawless” and “Grown Woman” is tacked on at the end of the videos and there’s still remnants of a more “commercially viable” sound on “Partition” and “Drunk In Love.”

        Beyonce pretty much showed she doesn’t really care about sales or singles with the under-performing (but artistically great) 4. I think she’s at the point where she’s never going to make big bucks on album sales and will make up for it in touring. I’m glad that allows her to experiment and come out with something like this. Granted, it’s basically the mainstream equivalent of Saint Heron and that whole R&B ecosystem, but that’s what Kanye did for Death Grips/noise-rap and no one complained.

      • There was no notice this cd/dvd was coming compared to a normal Beyonce album. None.

  18. Man I know Jay Z is your husband and the father of your child and all Bey, but you really should’ve made an executive decision to not let him go 2 Chainz on “Drunk In Love”. Turrible.

    Anyway, this album is hot.

  19. Blow is LEGIT.

    • Ha. I just got to “Blow” and had to check my iTunes player to see what song was coming through the speakers. This is my favorite album from Bey yet. Her growth as a musician and artist is remarkable. Definitely underrated in that respect.

      I had a list of my favorite albums and songs, but I’m considering scrapping it and just writing BEYONCE for it all.

  20. Big ups to Bey for featuring Chimamanda Adichie on the album. I took a course in African lit this past semester and we read her book Purple Hibiscus. Outstanding novel, and an even more outstanding talent.

    • Last week she led off the New York Time’s “10 Best Books of the Year,” this week she’s on a Beyonce album. Think she can expect a nice bump in her book sales this holiday season.

  21. So this is what it’s like waking up and suddenly finding out a new spectacular and utterly beautiful and lively album is out. I’m not even that much of a Beyonce fan (even though she really grew on me after 4), but this is just incredible. It’s like she is not even trying o compete with other popstars. But not out of laziness, but because she can just make her own tier and not even try to pretend she wants to play the game all of these desperate artists are. This is, at the very least, a top 4 album of the year, and might go higher with further listening. This is truly surprising me with how evolved and mature Beyonce and the music here are. This is a fucking class act career best.

    Beyonce > 4 > B’ Day > Dangerous In Love > I Am… Sasha Fierce

  22. easy for her to ask why people are working 9-5 just to stay alive…

  23. Katy who? ArtFlop what? Bey is and always will be a game changer!

    • And I agree with Solange’s mentions. I can definitely hear her influences here. Beyonce really took a new turn in her career with her previous album ’4′ (which made me appreciate her a lot more). This one just feels like a natural follow-up. Like a more sensual adventure.

  24. One has to wonder if Solange’s recent critical success may have pushed Bey more into this direction. One thing is for sure those Knowles sisters can make some damn fine music.

    • Oh, I definitely think Solange’s career has inspired this new direction. On “***Flawless”, she sings “My sister taught me I should speak my mind”. Those Knowles girls, so talented, so much sisterly love!

  25. I’m pleasantly surprised and I gotta give credit where it’s due. Woke up this morning to my timeline buzzing about this and at first I really thought it was a joke. Then I searched for the stream links all over the internet and track #2 instantly made me want to buy this whole thing.

    And damn. Music videos made me like this even more. And not just because they’re pretty or because Beyonce looks really pretty sexy in them, but because imagery really goes along well with the songs and takes them to a whole new level.

    I just love the spontaneous feeling of all this. When I was going through the whole thing, there was never a moment where I felt bored or unimpressed or wanted to skip something. Beyonce was so into it and it just works.

    When it comes to campaigns, she definitely upstaged everyone this year. Kudos to her.

  26. “Haunted” is fucking awesome.

    • Yoncé + Partition, too. That bass! I can certainly find tracks I like LESS than others on here, but I can hardly find a truly bad song here. Everything’s gold.

  27. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  28. Blue Ivy Is Burial

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