Christmas comes early for Beyoncé fans. In an unprecedented move, the pop superstar quietly released her fifth studio album to iTunes on Friday.
“Surprise!” tweeted Bey moments after the midnight launch.
The visual album, simply titled BEYONCÉ, features 14 songs and 17 videos, with contributions from Jay Z, Blue Ivy, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Drake, The-Dream, Sia, Ryan Tedder, Miguel, Frank Ocean, Hit-Boy, Ammo, Boots, and Detail.
“I see music,” said Beyoncé about her decision to create a visual album. “It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music.”
The videos were shot throughout the world in New York, Paris, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro during her worldwide “Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.”
“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” explained Bey. “I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”
The surprise release was a strategic move done to prevent leaks. Manufacturing of physical copies begins today and the double disc CD/DVD will be available in stores in time for the holidays.
She started recording the album a year-and-a-half ago. The initial process began in the summer of 2012 after the writers and producers gathered under one roof in The Hamptons to live together, work together, and immerse themselves in Bey’s world.
She has also premiered the first part of Self-Titled, a mini documentary feature that offers a glimpse into the entire project. It details her mind-set and artistic vision throughout the making of BEYONCÉ.
See the tracklisting below and head to iTunes to get your copy for $15.99. Individual songs will be available for purchase on December 20.
Watch 30-second teasers for all 17 music videos from the album.
Self-Titled – Part 1
BEYONCÉ Song List
1. “Pretty Hurts”
BEYONCÉ Video List
1. “Pretty Hurts” – Directed by Melina Matsoukas
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