Beyonce Releases Unexpected Self-Titled ‘Visual’ Album
Damn. All we can say is, damn. Beyonce shook up the world in the wee hours of Friday morning (Dec. 13) when she released her self-titled visual album, which features 14 new songs and 17 accompanying music videos -- how's that for #NewRules?
At nearly midnight Eastern Standard Time, Beyonce posted an Instagram video with the simple caption: "Surprise!" The clip was 15 seconds of awesome. "Awesome" being the only way to describe the spliced together teaser video of her 17 -- count 'em, 17 -- music videos for the album. No buzz single, no lead single, no press run, no marketing plan, no leaks, the direct-to-fan visual album 'Beyonce' is available for purchase on iTunes and is part of an unprecedented release strategy -- at least for an artist of this magnitude.
Bey explains the rationale behind the project in a press release sent out minutes after the album's release:
“I see music,” says 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.”
“ I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she states. “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.”
Featured guests on the album include Frank Ocean, Drake, her husband Jay Z and surprisingly, their daughter Blue Ivy. The all-star list of producers includes Timbaland, Noah “40” Shebib and The-Dream among others.
Not only did Bey and her team coordinate a social media takeover that spans Facebook and Instagram to debut the content, she uploaded 30-second snippets of all 17 videos to her YouTube page. The videos were filmed in places like Brooklyn's Coney Island, Houston and exotic locales like Rio De Janerio, Sydney and Paris.
Check them out below and bow down to King Bey.