Forget Gaga, Miley, or Taylor—Beyoncé is the true queen of pop. And today, she proved it.
Early Friday morning, the singer released her fifth studio album exclusively on iTunes, shocking fans that knew nothing about the album. The self-titled album is comprised of fourteen songs and seventeen videos, and features artists like Frank Ocean, Jay Z, Drake, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, and her daughter Blue Ivy.
Currently, iTunes is only selling the album as an exclusive package, but the tracks and videos will be available individually on December 20. On Knowles’ youtube page, previews of the videos are available.
Although Knowles is known for her pop anthems such as Love on Top, Single Ladies, and Countdown, but Beyoncé, has a much more raw feel to it. ***Flawless, which features Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, reminds her audience that she is first and foremost a strong woman who—pardon the cliché—doesn’t need a man. “I took some time to live my life/But don’t think I’m just his little wife.” In the second verse, Adiche says, “We say to girls?‘You can have ambition/But not too much/You should aim to be successful/But not too successful/Otherwise you will threaten the man.’” And Knowles even addresses the rumors of marital strife that have flooded the internet in her track Mine. “Been having conversations about breakups and separations/I’m not feeling like myself since the baby/Are we gonna even make it?” But no questions about it, Beyoncé is back at full force, from societal commentary in Pretty Hurts to sheer devotion in Blue.
Fans have been waiting for a new album for some time and some began to doubt if the 32-year old singer would come back as strong as we’ve known her to be after her Mrs. Carter world tour. But Knowles makes it very clear: she can be a performer, a mother, a wife, and she will fill all of those roles as she sees fit, and anyone standing in her way her better bow down to Queen Bey.
1. Pretty Hurts
3. Drunk In Love (feat. Jay Z)
5. No Angel
9. Mine (feat. Drake)
11. ***Flawless (feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche)
12. Superpower (feat. Frank Ocean)
14. Blue (feat. Blue Ivy)