Beyonce Surprises Fans with Self-Titled Album

By  December 13, 2013

“Keep calm. Beyoncé makes albums.” Such reads the front of a t-shirt sold at the Los Angeles stop of Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter Show World Tour on December 3rd.

Today, eight days after posting an image of the tee to Tumblr as a subtle reminder to the masses, Mrs. Carter has personified that bold claim. Moments after midnight, Bey again went social to deliver this message to her hive: “VISUAL ALBUM. 14 SONGS. 17 VIDEOS. AVAILABLE NOW.” All caps for emphasis, of course.

Beyoncé, the eponymous, fifth solo feat from Houston’s saving grace, dropped exclusively on iTunes as what the streaming service crowned “a provocative, unguarded artistic statement… cementing her status as a pop visionary.” In her own words, the digital disc is an all-encompassing investment that allows “everyone to see the whole picture” without said art being lost in a sea of industry politics and over-bearing promotion. Power moves. New rules. Whatever you’d like to call it.

“I wanted to make this body of work, and I feel like it’s something that’s lost in pop music. I wanted people to hear things differently and have a first impression,” she revealed in a Facebook video post. “Not just listen to a 10 second clip, but actually be able to see a whole vision of the album. It was important that we made this a movie, we made this an experience,” reminiscent of when she and her family viewed Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” for the first time.

An experience it is! With more than two hours of audial and visual content, Beyoncé can’t be digested in a single session. That said, we’re back to examining the piece from top to bottom, over and over again.

If you’ve yet to spend your $15.99 on the disc—which you should be doing, right now—scan the self-titled tracklist and get a 30-second snippet of each video below. Proceed with caution. Beyoncé’s sexually-charged lyrics, equally-scintillating visuals, and self-assured swagger come across in a way we haven’t seen from her before.

Beyoncé | Self-Titled
1. “Pretty Hurts”
2. “Ghost / Haunted”
3. “Drunk in Love” feat. Jay Z
4. “Blow”
5. “No Angel”
6. “Yoncé / Partition”
7. “Jealous”
8. “Rocket”
9. “Mine” feat. Drake
10. “XO”
11. “***Flawless” feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
12. “Superpower” feat. Frank Ocean
13. “Heaven”
14. “Blue” feat. Blue Ivy

“Pretty Hurts”

“Ghost”

“Haunted”

“Drunk in Love”

“Blow”

“No Angel”

“Yoncé”

“Partition”

“Jealous”

“Rocket”

“Mine”

“XO”

“***Flawless”

“Superpower”

“Heaven”

“Blue”

Bonus: “Grown Woman”