Releasing an album of 14 songs and 17 videos at midnight on Dec. 13, Beyonce proved that she can do anything she wants. And the mass hysteria, praise, and record-breaking sales that followed proves once and for all why we call her Queen Bey.
At this point we don’t even know what to say to capture Beyonce‘s all-around dominance and superhuman swagger, so we’ll let the reactions, and the numbers of her surprise new album, Beyonce, do the talking.
Beyonce Drops Surprise Album, World Rejoices
When Queen Bey (she will forever be known as this) eschewed traditional album release practices on Dec. 13 by dropping her album on midnight on a Thursday, with no announcement, no promotion, and an overflowing amount of “Bow Down” confidence, some were skeptical that the surprise album would blow up like Bey hoped. Those people are now living in Siberia because they doubted Beyonce.
First of all, the album — which oh yeah, included nearly twenty music videos — has been praised by almost every prominent music critic out there. Here are a just a few snippets:
Its songs are steamy and sleek, full of erotic exploits and sultry vocals; every so often, for variety, they turn vulnerable, compassionate or pro-feminist. And with both the songs and the videos, Beyoncé consolidates one of pop’s most finely balanced personas; she is, at once, glamorous and down-home, carnal and sweet, “Queen Bey” and a diligent trouper, polished and human.
Some fans will no doubt feel lost in this murky, intermittently thrilling new territory. For them — and everyone else with a heart — there’s “Blue,” which features her baby-talking toddler Blue Ivy reverbed into infinity at the end, but more importantly, proves that not every piano-laden pop ballad need bring the doldrums on. Like much of Beyoncé, it balances formal inventiveness with emotional directness. Share it with your little niece, or someone else you love.
What’s exciting about the record, beyond its means of delivery, is how the music similarly blends the intimate and the extravagant.
‘Beyonce’ Is #1 Worldwide
But for those of you weary of critics — the fans have also spoken. At the moment, Beyonce’s new album is #1 on iTunes in 100 countries. Yes, one hundred. That triple-digit number breaks the record One Direction held when their album Midnight Memories hit #1 in 97 countries. Sorry boys, but Queen Bey has spoken.
Beyonce also sold 80,000 copies in its first three hours, according to Billboard, and the album is projected to be at #1 on the Billboard 200 when the chart’s top 10 is revealed on Dec. 18.
Beyonce must have had the feeling that we were forgetting, because she reminded us — this is her world, and we’re just lucky to be living in it.
— Andrew Gruttadaro