Remember when we said Beyonce’s new album was on its way for 2014? Well, apparently Beyonce didn’t want to wait that long, or Columbia didn’t want to wait that long, or possibly this was the plan all along. Beyonce, who hasn’t released an album since 2011’s 4, has decided to drop an album literally overnight on iTunes.
Call it gutsy, call it a historical moment in digital music, call it whatever you would like, but a top-selling artist has forgone all promotion and formal announcements, and even the associated press conference sound bites to quiet critics and music pundits, so that her music can speak for herself. About an hour ago, as of writing, Beyonce dropped an enormous anthology of tracks to iTunes. 32 tracks total including digital video components and exclusive music, Beyonce’s secret album, “Beyonce” is open to buy for $15.99 at the iTunes store.
Slapped with a parental advisory “sticker,” Beyonce’s shocking album contains 14 songs in full featuring many collaborations with the likes of Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Drake, Justin Timberlake, and even her daughter, Blue Ivy. What’s even more surprising is that with all of these collaborations, it’s a wonder how Beyonce got all of them to keep quiet about the album.
Of her decision to create a visual component, Beyonce stated:
“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.”
Just a few days ago, the chairman of Columbia Records made a vague statement about his slate and Beyonce’s future music, probably knowing that she was ready to drop the bomb on the Internet and her fans. At the time he said, “Obviously, at some point, Beyoncé will put a record out.”
The only other information out on the album which is currently up for grabs, is the iTunes Editors’ Notes that states:
“This visual album is available exclusively on iTunes. (Songs will be available for individual purchase on December 20.) Beyonce’s fifth studio endeavor is a provocative, unguarded artistic statement – revealing a side of the icon previously unknown to fans and cementing her status as a pop visionary. The roster of guest collaborators includes JAY Z, Drake, Frank Ocean, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland, Justin Timberlake and more. Adding a striking dimension to the music, the complementary videos unfold amid an international backdrop of New York, Paris, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro.”
In a year where women of pop’s A&Rs and publicists have been bending over backwards to one up the competition, this elegant and classic move by Beyonce proves that when it comes to pure artistry the singer has nothing to hide.
You can purchase Beyonce’s new album here.