Beyoncé dropped her surprise album exclusively on iTunes in the wee hours of Friday morning and it's already sold a million copies. It's a "visual album," featuring 14 songs and 17 videos, and it's somewhat of a left turn from the way we've become used to consuming music these days.
How's that? First of all, you can't stream it anywhere. It's iTunes-only. Second, it begs to be watched. Did Beyoncé just bring back music videos? Pretty much. You see artists put out a handful of videos for an album, but they almost never do an entire album's worth of them. The closest comparison would be Kanye West's short film Runaway or Lana del Rey's recent Tropico. But those were both promoted and hyped to hell before their releases, and Beyoncé remained a secret that nary a cent was spent to promote. (She should probably thank Twitter and Facebook for their collective freakouts securing her near-instant number one status on Billboard).
On top of that, Beyoncé is something you almost certainly have to buy if you want to enjoy it. You can probably rip the album if you know where to look, but any bootlegged videos that pop up are basically taken down immediately by Illuminati henchmen (read: the RIAA). However, she has released a couple of the videos on YouTube so far. Drunk In Love is one of my favorites of the hour, if anything because it looks like it was shot while Bey and Jay were on vacation. It feels like they're just hanging out on a luxury beach, and you can't help but think we've come full circle from Crazy In Love, one of theirs first collabo 10 years ago. [YouTube]