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Monday, 23 December 2013

New Visual Album Review - Beyoncé - Beyoncé

It broke iTunes, it made history as the fastest selling album EVER on iTunes, has made big name retailers boycott selling it in protest and also the biggest album release from Beyoncé to date, however is it any good?

With over 14 singles and 17 videos, its been a long but very loving task to review Beyoncé new self titled album. She may have cut out the middleman in promoting the album, however we can confirm, that she has definitely not cut back in ANYWAY on the production of her fifth LP.

Deemed as her first "visual" album, we felt it was not relevant to review the songs on their own, but to take take Queen B's words of "I see music" to heart and review the 17 video's instead. Therefore check out our video by video review of Queen of Pop Beyoncé new album with her 17 different looks...

'Pretty Hurts'
Pretty Hurts see’s Beyoncé preparing for a beauty pageant in the Sia penned track, as “Miss 3rd Ward” (a reference to the Houston neighborhood where she grew up.) steps out on stage and is asked “What is your aspiration in life?” in which Beyoncé replies "to be happy". The beauty pageant video directed by Melina Matsoukas, and featuring Harvey Keitel portrays the quest for beauty and reflects the self-empowerment anthem lyrics that sing of “Perfection is the disease of a nation” and “It’s the sole that needs surgery” in this powerhouse track.


 'Ghost'
The minimal yet effective track Ghost is directed by French photographer and filmmaker Pierre Deusschere and is a spine-tinglingly styled clip that matches the deep pulsating beats against a haunting melody. Queen B sends a clear statement to recording companies in the world of their domination singing “I don’t trust these record labels / I’m tourin’”  as she says in the spoken-word intro, chanting “workin’ 9 to 5 / just to stay alive". We think she has proven she doesn't need them already. She is Beyoncé afterall.

'Haunted'
Haunted see’s the Crazy In Love singer playing sexy rich bitch Beyoncé with short pixy cut hair in the Joan Akerlund Directed clip. We see Queen B walking along the corridors of her mansion, looking into each room as she discovers various haunting, sexual or disturbing scenes against the tracks chilling, sexually charged track!


'Drunk In Love' ft Jay-Z
The black and white directed clip by Hype Williams is set simply by the ocean in the soft vibe R&B follow up to Crazy In Love, that features hubby Jay-Z. Drunk In Love is infectious, seductive and full of sexual foreplay, as the powerhouse couple display their closeness in this duet singing of "loooooveee".


'Blow'
OK. Blow is basically pop gold and a pop dream in heaven. With writers Justin Timberlake, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon, James Fauntleroy and Timbaland,  produced by super star pal Pharrell mixed with Beyonce vocals, can you do any wrong? NO!!! It's a sexually charged deep disco track, full for sexual innuendo, that gives the reason to why this track is called Blow. Listen to the lyrics people!
 The video is directed by Hype Williams and features sister/singer Solange Knowles and Ingrid Burley and sees the girls hit the roller-disco. It's a seductive, suggestive, playful clip, full of sexy dance moves and funky playful beats, featuring neon clothes, black lights and even Mrs Carter roller skates. It’s pop-a-licous on a stick..!

'No Angel'
Beyoncé hangs out in the hood, dressed in a hot white leotard and hooded fur coat in this alternative version to Fast & Furious franchise directed by @lilinternet. With a heavy bass and Bey’s capturing falsetto, the track continues the theme of the album, that marriage is work but you have to love good sex..!


'Yonce'
Street vibe Beyoncé gets down with some sexy ladies once again in this Ricky Saiz directed clip, as she twerks her ass against a wall, in what is described a "lady-thug anthem" in this hip-hop track that features three top Victoria’s Secret models Chanel Iman, Joan Smalls and Jourdan Dunn. Get down and dirty to this track.


'Partition'
Another alter-ego and a another glamorous bitch Beyoncé in the track called Partition, with it’s dark & mysterious seductive deep beats that is basically a “getting freaky” jam for her man. In the Jake Nava directed clip, featuring Mr Carter himslef and The Crazy Horse Dancers, we see Beyoncé sexually teasing Jay-Z, in a array of scenes full of naked flesh, arousing silhouettes and the ass of Beyoncé, in a track that oozes sexiness and shows the inner tiger within Queen B.


'Jealous'
Firstly, we have included many pictures of Beyoncé from the clip Jealous as she looks STUNNING throughout this entire video directed by Francess Carrozzini  and former Flaunt creative director Todd Tourso.
When you listen to the song, the singer is having another self-reflective moment, tapping into raw real emotion that everyone has felt, a tale of a neglect, emotion and most probably drawn from Beyoncé own relationship.
This track is personal to Beyoncé, as you see the loneliness, anger, upset and being out of control from the feelings portrayed. We also love love love the swiping scene, which went viral last week, with all basically what Beyoncé did to the previous albums of 2013! She also references old tracks by taking “Freakum dress out my closet” LOVE IT!

'Rocket'

Rocket gets you up close and personal to Beyoncé than you ever could have imagined. The black & white clip is directed by Ed Burke, Bill Kirstein and even Beyoncé herself, sets the tone from the beginning with the opening line “Let me sit this ass on you". As the soulful/R&B soft beats kick in, you get to follow a seductive housewife at home, sexily touching herself, being playful with her man, which makes you feel you are basically in bed with Beyoncé

It’s every man’s dream, its every gay guys dream, actually its everyone’s dream. A stunning video. Bravo!

'Mine'
More self-reflective times from Beyoncé, in a song that is no doubt to Jay Z, as she looks into the darkness since the birth of Blue Ivy and troubles throughout their relationship, until guest vocalist Drake brings in hope.

 A very stylized clip directed By Pierre Debusschere, showing Beyoncé hiding behind a mask (I could be anyone), power of emotion between two lovers through contemporary dance and interesting lyrics that refer to “break ups & separations”, “taking this a little too far” and “Long as you know who you belong to” which perhaps gives us a glimpse into the superstars real life.

'XO'
One of the lead singles to be release off the album, XO is magical and amazing. Not surprising really, as it was co-written and produced by Ryan Tedder and Terius Nash

And who better to direct the fun and happy video than Terry Richardson, as we see Beyoncé having fun with friends hanging out at the fairground. Its very different from her previous track i.e happy, singing of love and showing various joyful couples, as Beyoncé seductively stares right down the camera into your eyes.



'Flawless'
Previously released Hit Boy produced track Bow Down now appears as ***Flawless  and is narrated by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, speaking of feminism and highlights the quest for equality for women. In the video directed by Jake Nava, Beyoncé gets a punk edge, hanging out at raves singing “Bow Down Bitches” and its the first time we get a glimpse of Destiny’s Child when they first set out as “Girl Time” in a TV talent show. Must be the only time Beyoncé came 2nd..!


'Superpower'
This is a fantastic song! With powerhouse Beyoncé joining forces with Frank Ocean and produced by Pharrell, it has a soft tempo R&B feel that is juxtaposed with its hard-edged video directed by Jonas Akerlund. The clip is like (Girls) Run The Wold Part II, set in abandoned warehouse and car park, with Beyoncé strutting as the leader as the destruction happen around her. Fellow Destiny’s Child band mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams join the army with Pharrell popping in to join the gang too!

'Heaven'
This is an emotional raw song that makes us cry every time we watch it. Written & produced by unknown artist Boots, the track is soft, powerful and moving. Singing of a lost love, the track must be about someone close to Beyoncé and the Todd Tourso directed clip just adds to the emotion, as we see friends hanging out together, experiencing life and then sharing in the sorrow of loss. A beautiful directed clip that is one of our favs.

'Blue'
Set in Brazil, the video is colourful, vibrant and joyful, which compliments chilled piano soft pulsating beats of the track, as Beyoncé sings “When I look in your eyes, I feel alive” sharing the love she has for daughter. The video is directed once again by Beyoncé, Ed Burke and Bill Kirstein who brought you the imitate video of Rocket, see’s Beyonce strolling through the vibrant streets and along the beach with Blue in her arms, ending the track with some guest vocals from Blue herself. It’s not the first time Blue has featured in a track, previously featuring on Jay-Z track Glory. It’s personal, welcoming and video that celebrates love and the joys of this vibrant life. Well Beyoncé’ anyway!


'Grown Woman'
The only album track released earlier this year via a Pepsi commercial, gave people hope of a new album. The track is produced by Timbaland and has a funky swaggering uplifting beat, full of bongo drum's, wind pipes, trumpets and a slight brazilian carnival flavour. The video directed Jake Nava provides further insight into Beyoncé quest to become a star from a young age, as we see footage of her childhood including mum Tina, sister Solange and bestie Kelly Rowland and even the early days of Destiny's Child as they all singing the track Grown Woman like its  has always been a sound track to Beyoncé life.

In summary the album is amazing. Put aside the self marketing campaign and the hype that it has caused. Beyoncé delivers an album that doesn't jump on the "latest" trend or tries to be current, it's an album of reflection, of honestly, of emotion and of pure musical delight. She may have been nicknamed Queen Bey, however this album further gives evidence as to why we should Bow Down Bitches..!

Beyoncé is available on iTunes now..!


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