In Defense Of Beyonce’s Delayed Album
The most talked about album of 2013 doesn’t have a title, a tracklist or even a prospective release date. The opus – or, more specifically, parts of it – are locked up tight on Beyonce’s laptop and will most likely remain there until her hugely-successful Mrs. Carter Show world tour winds up in late September. Fans want new music. That’s fair enough but speculation about Bey’s fifth album has become an international meme. Reporters are hitting up past collaborators for tid-bits of information, snippets of leaked tracks are being analyzed with scientific scrutiny, an off-the-cuff remark to a fan during a meet-and-greet made headlines and the ever-faithful Hive even turned on their Queen in a moment of frustration. Why is everyone so uptight and thirsty?
It’s not like B has taken an extended leave of absence – less than two years have passed since 4 hit stores. I’m old enough to remember when a lengthy break between albums was the norm. Michael Jackson took five years between Thriller and Bad, while Whitney Houston fans waited an agonizing eight years between I’m Your Baby Tonight and My Love Is Your Love. But we live in an age where Rihanna drops a new album every November and that’s what many music lovers have come to expect. But it shouldn’t be a crime to work at your own pace. Beyonce should be applauded for focussing on quality instead of being attacked for keeping everyone waiting. Our health and wellbeing don’t depend on her latest club-banger being available on iTunes.
Give the woman a break. Bey is filling arenas every night on a grueling world tour, posing for arty Instagram pics and raising a daughter. She has also been kind enough to give us “Bow Down/I Been On” and purposely leaked “Grown Woman” if Timbland’s tweet is any indication. (Members of the clique usually avoid publicly acknowledging anything non-official). Queen B also blessed us with “Rise Up” and thirty seconds of “Standing On The Sun” in her H&M commercial. The Mother Theresa of R&B also found time to improve Kelly Rowland’s album with a cameo and write Michelle Williams a kind note. Don’t you feel bad right now?
If anything, Beyonce is guilty of mismanaging expectations. We all had egg on our face when the Super Bowl came and went with no lead single and then just assumed she would be debuting new music before the tour. A simple tweet warning us that era V wouldn’t commence until late 2013 would have made a huge difference. Sure, it would have also sparked a Twitter riot but the Hive is resilient. The fact that new dates are still being added to The Mrs. Carter Show (and still selling out almost instantaneously) is proof that fans don’t really care about the setlist. We just want to see the best performer of our generation.
As for the new album? It will come and – given Bey’s peerless discography – it will be worth the wait. The unquenchable thirst for new music has created more buzz for the project than any interview or television appearance. The eventual announcement of a release date could well break the internet. I know it’s not easy to be patient. In a perfect world, we’d get daily updates but Beyonce is not about that life. And to be honest, I’d prefer her to spend the time in the studio making sure V is her biggest and best era yet.
Let me know if you’re on my wavelength (or not) in the comments below.