It was the by far the biggest thing to come out of the music industry in 2013. Beyoncé’s brand new self-titled 5th album dropped on the 13th of December last year, surprising not just the fans, but everyone in the industry too.
After taking a break from the limelight to spend quality time with baby daughter Blue Ivy, Mrs. Carter made the comeback of a lifetime with what she likes to call her ‘visual album’ – 14 tracks with a music video accompanying each, as well as 3 bonus music videos. The album sees collaborations with husband Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Drake and even Blue Ivy herself. Recording began in 2012 and continued under strict secrecy during her 2013 world tour. The album was unexpectedly released on iTunes on the 13th of December with absolutely no prior announcements or promotions and generated around 1.2 million tweets within the first 12 hours, with the Guardian hailing the release as ‘Beyoncégeddon’.
The new album is very different to Beyoncé’s usual sound. After the initial phases of excitement wore off the general public, lots of fans took to twitter and other social media sites to express their opinions. There was a lot of disappointment, as Beyoncé usually writes signature anthems of sorts, and this album saw her show a completely different side of her, but mostly people loved it. She describes the album as a ‘labour of love’ and something that is ‘incredibly personal’. Through the album, Beyoncé aimed to connect with her fans on a deeper level, by baring herself to them completely. It is her singing about sex and fear and passion and insecurity, all culminating into this wonderful, raw body of music.
Whilst it was risky of her to sing about such personal subjects, it has only got her more respect. It’s exciting to see how her sound has changed and how her music is evolving with her as she turns the page into a new chapter of her life. Yes, there were fans that were disappointed because they were expecting tunes like ‘Single Ladies’ again, but on the whole, the response to the album has been explosive.
Beyoncé’s 5th album has shown that, even in the midst of having her first child and touring the world, she can still make an absolutely kick ass album, AND manage to keep the entire thing a secret. After all, there is a reason why they call her Queen Bey.