Save Rock & Roll by Fall Out Boy. Artpop by Lady Gaga. Prism by Katy Perry. Nothing Was the Same by Drake. All of these albums were some of the ones I was most excited about for 2014 especially Save Rock & Roll which was the resurgence of my favorite band. All of them were fantastic to me. Most I am still listening to constantly. My iTunes stays tuned to these particular albums day after day.
Nothing prepared me for Beyoncé.
On December 13th, Beyoncé just dropped a bomb on the music world and the following tidal wave of celebrity and fan support rocked the social media sphere as well as the world. Rightfully so, of course. How can one of the biggest pop/R&B powerhouse release an entire album with 14 songs, 17 videos completely by surprise with no leaks oncesoever!? Not to mention she was also on her nationwide Mrs. Carter tour this year. It seems in this digital age a feat that can not be accomplished. Not only do most artists rely on the promotion of their albums and the radio play of their singles, but leaks are bound to happen nowadays. Beyoncé has done the unthinkable. Love her or not (and how could you not?), there is no ignoring that this was a highly successful thing that not many artists could pull off or even attempt.
Without a word before this album released, Beyoncé has managed to snag over 1 million sales of this album on iTunes in less than a week. The album sold approx 828,773 in only the first weekend. A ‘visual album’, Beyoncé reaches an emotional depth that previous albums fell a bit short of. Love, parenthood, sexuality, and the power of being a woman are all themes running through the musical tale she weaves. Aid of the videos allows for the messages to come across loud and clear. My favorite track “XO” gives this nostalgic feeling of falling in love, sealing it with a kiss. Radio hit “Drunk In Love” features her husband Jay-Z and, along with “Partition”, are the raunchier tracks of the album which certainly elicit a type of feeling that needs some healing – if you know what I’m saying. “Pretty Hurts” definitely hits home with its message of how image plays an important albeit damaging part of a woman’s life.
My only criticism would be that the album seems much slower than past ones. There did not seem to be any super high energy songs.
Bless you. Beyoncé. This album was a satisfying surprise that I will listen to well into 2014, 2015, 2016….so on and so forth.