Bow down, bitches. Beyonce dropped her latest album, Surprise! I’m Still Better Than You (just kidding, it’s called Beyonce) last night at 9pm PT exclusively on iTunes — and according to industry sources, she moved an astonishing 80,000+ units of the album in just the three hour sales window before midnight. (Not to be shady, but for a point of comparison, that’s nearly as many copies as Britney Jean sold in its first week.)
Billboard projects that the album will hit #1 on the albums chart next week — and although there’s only three days left in the sales week, it shouldn’t be tough to outsell the other contender, Garth Brooks‘ Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influence, which is estimated to shift between 150,000 and 160,000 units. More »
Beyonce‘s out-of-nowhere, how-is-this-even-happening, what-is-air self-titled fifth studio album dropped late last night, and the “visual album” is an actual feast for the senses. Not in a trite way. In a way where you actually feel like you are feasting on the greatness of Beyonce’s artistry. Ugh. It hurts.
Most of the videos are unified by some narrative cohesion, but the clip for sonic standout “Mine,” a moody, spaced-out team-up with Drake produced by his frequent collaborator Noah “40″ Shehib, goes in about a dozen different directions; like the song’s production, which gradually transforms from a sentiment-soaked piano ballad into something raw, rhythmic and minimalist, the video is far-reaching in its styles and influences. More »
Being the pretty one in the room isn’t always an easy ride. That’s the message behind Beyonce‘s song/video “Pretty Hurts,” from her fifth, self-titled album that dropped unexpectedly at midnight last night. “We shine a light on what ever’s worst, perfection is the disease of a nation,” Bey sings woefully on the chorus of the Sia co-write.
The visual for the song underscores the despair behind the glitter of beauty pageants. It also lets King B’s alter ego Miss 3rd Ward step out into the cruel spotlight, after having only been “featured” on Jay Z‘s Magna Carta Holy Grail track “Part II (On The Run).”
One of the multitude of masterstrokes with this whole Beyonce audio/visual project is getting screen legend Harvey Keitel to play the perfectly glitzed-out pageant host in the “Pretty Hurts” video. Known for his tough guy roles in films like Taxi Driver, Thelma & Louise, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Keitel appears here decked out in a shiny silver jacket, where he puts pageant contestant Miss 3rd Ward on the spot by asking her the question, “What is your aspiration in life?” More »
Beyonce assembled an army of R&B experts and pop luminaries on her self-titled fifth album. She reunited with producers who had a hand in some previous favorites (The-Dream, Frank Ocean, Ryan Tedder), linked up with new blood (Hit-Boy, Chairlift‘s Caroline Polachek) and brought on producers whose names you may not know but whose work you definitely know (Key Wane, frequent Ke$ha collaborator Ammo). Oh, and there’s also some really new blood care of a Blue Ivy feature.
The primary players include Pharrell, the Midas touch trifecta of Justin Timberlake, J-Roc and Timbaland (as with 20/20 Part 2, they left no clunky sex metaphor unturned) and a pop mysterion known as Boots (#whoisboots). Sia, Drake, Noah “40″ Shebib and Miguel also notched credits on the mega-release. As for the videos, everyone from Terry Richardson to frigging Lil Internet to Bey herself had directing duties.
That’s a whole lot of people, and we don’t know what kind of threats were hovering over them to prevent details from leaking out, but it worked and now we have Beyonce. So below, find the full credits broken down in an easier-to-read song-by-song list. More »
Turns out that tracklist for Katy B‘s Little Red we posted the other day wasn’t the final deal. But now we have the legit list of song titles as well as the cover art, so there you go. What’s no longer on the album: the previously mentioned “Wicked Love,” “Blue Eyes,” “Stay Down” and the “G” at the end of “All My Loving” (so, in other words, it’s now “All My Lovin’”). What’s replacing those songs: “Play,” “Emotions” and “Still.”
Little Red has a UK release date of February 3, but Sony tells Idolator that a US release date has yet to be set. We’ll keep fingers crossed, though, that it happens.
Final tracklist below. More »
Beyonce wasn’t the only pop queen to unexpectedly drop new music on iTunes today (December 13)! Lorde released one-off track “No Better,” apparently a leftover from her Pure Heroine sessions. It’s got one of her trademark woozy bass lines, quick-cadence verses and a line about teeth. In other words, yup, it fits right in with her debut album material. Still, like all her songs, there are a couple unexpected twists — for this one, it’s the trappy percussion, and how it all fades out at the end of the refrain.
Maybe she’ll explain why “No Better” was left off the album at some point, but for now, stream it below. More »