Now that I’ve stopped running around screaming her name for the better portion of a day, I’ve actually had a chance to sit down and really listen to the album we all freaked out over yesterday. Yes, as everyone and their grandmother knows, the Queen B unexpectedly dropped a bomb on the music industry with the surprise release of her fifth studio album, the self titled Beyoncé.
After a year of album releases from our pop princesses that were “just okay”, Beyoncé has served up a game changer in every sense of the word, just in time to ruin everyone’s end of year lists. Normally I’d talk about the highlights and low points of the album, but on an album with no filler, no remixes of the lead single or a previous hit, a track-by-track review is in order.
Beyonce surprised everyone tonight with the release of a brand new self-titled album! The visual album features 14 new tracks accompanied by 17 videos. A few of us from Homorazzi had the pleasure of seeing her perform here in Vancouver a couple weeks ago and after witnessing her epic performance, it makes me wonder how she had the time to secretly work on all of this?
I’ve only skimmed through the album (which is her 5th) and have definitely liked what I’ve heard so far. Surprisingly, “Grown Woman” didn’t make it on the album. That being said, the music video for the song is included as a bonus video. Of the new tracks, the only really upbeat song is “Blow” but it’s clear that she wasn’t going for a dance-type album with this anyone.
The album features collaborations with Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Drake,and even her own daughter, Blue Ivy. A couple songs like I like right off the bat are “Flawless” and “Pretty Hurts”. I can’t wait to dive in and actually go through each song and video. Speaking of videos, Bey hooked up with high-profile directors including Terry Richardson, Melina Matsouka, Jonas Akerlund, Jake Nava and Hype Williams.
“Grown Woman” first surfaced in Beyonce’s Pepsi commercial back in April. Eight months later, a snippet for the amazing cut has finally surfaced. Whether the footage was part of a scrapped music video or simply unused background visuals meant for her Mrs. Carter World Tour, only B actually knows. The uptempo gem definitely deserved better than the treatment it received.
I probably shouldn’t hold my breath for an official release of the single. During her recent gig in my hood, Bey never performed “Grown Woman” nor “Standing In The Sun.” #hugeletdown. Oh well, at least there’s this.
On a side note, Beyonce should really consider ditching her blond tresses for awhile. She looks stunning in dark straight hair. Check out the clip below which features cameos from Mama Knowles and Kelly Rowland. Poor Michelle Williams. Not invited to the party once again.
Even without a brand new album, Beyonce topped Bing’s year-end list for most searched celebrity in 2013. I’m sure a little thing called the Super Bowl and her highly successful Mrs. World Carter Tour assisted a tiny bit with that. She knocked out last year’s champ, Kim Kardashian, from the top slot. Don’t rejoice too much Kardashian haters. Kimmy K is still at No. 2. Seriously, who searches for her? Justin Bieber and Barack Obama are the only males making an appearance in the US Top 10.
In addition to its annual rankings of the top celebrities, there’s also a Top 10 list for most searched songs, sports stars, fashion designers, movies, social networks and travel destinations. The search engine breaks it down even further by compiling a separate list for several countries- Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US.
It’s interesting to see that Bey only topped the US list, while Miley Cyrus (Australia, Canada), Rihanna (France), Selena Gomez (Germany) and Justin Bieber (UK) topped other territories. The most fascinating breakdown for me were the travel destinations. Even neighboring countries like Canada and the United States have vastly different tastes. With that being said, both picked Hawaii as No. 1. Check out some of the US’ Top 10 lists below.
“Grown Woman,” “Bow Down,” “Standing on the Sun,” and “Rise Up.” All brand new tracks from Beyonce this year but no new album and music videos to boot. To be fair, the latter was part of the animated film Epic’s soundtrack, but still. All this new material but no confirmation of a new studio effort from the 32-year-old entertainer. Get it together B, your BeyHive is getting restless.
“God Made You Beautiful” was first heard in the trailer for Bey’s Life Is But A Dream dvd. The Sia-penned ballad was inspired by her daughter Blue Ivy. The full track has leaked online and it’s rather beautiful. Just as God, or in this case, Beyonce intended ;) Check it out below.
After a year off, The Sing-Off returns for a fourth season to NBC this Christmas. Season 3 winners Pentatonix have gradually become the singing competition’s Kelly Clarkson by being the most successful out of the bunch. Since winning two years ago, their debut EP debuted at No. 14 with a brand new one dropping this week. In addition, they’ve appeared in numerous YouTube videos which have gone viral.
One of their best is the epic “Evolution of Beyoncé” which chronicled the “Irreplaceable” singer’s discography all the way from her Destiny’s Child days to her “Grown Woman” era. Their a capella medley was genius. Apparently, Ellen Degeneres thought so too. She brought them on her show Monday to perform it for a live studio audience. Not surprisingly, it’s pitch perfect. Check it out below, along with the original and their interpretation of the evolution of music. That’s brilliant as well.
2013 was supposed to give us Beyonce’s fifth studio album. Sadly that never came to be. Instead we get Bey’s, correct me if I’m wrong, first ever foray pimping calendars. Watch out Kylie Minogue, you’ve got some competition.
The Beyoncé 2014 Official Calendar is available on her website now and can be purchased for just $15. Inside you’ll see the “Grown Woman” singer channeling her inner Sasha Fierceness in a multitude of looks. This behind-the-scenes glimpse should satisfy the singer’s Hive. It’s not a new album, but it’s at least something to tide over her fans. Check it out below.
Since Britney Spears recently revealed she wasn’t comfortable being sexy anymore because she’s a mother (I call BS) and nixed almost half of the original footage, I’m shifting all these plagiarism claims to her people, most notably director Ben Mor. Just like with that Jonas Akerlund debacle with similar visuals for Katy Perry’s perfume commercial and Beyonce’s Miss Carter World Tour promo. Ultimately, it’s the director’s vision, especially when said artist is Spears who seems, no offense, heavily persuaded by her creative team.
In the end, everyone borrows from everyone. Maybe I should say, gets inspired. Much more polite, right? At least with Britney’s awesome “Work Bitch” it wasn’t one specific artist that was targeted. Mor went global and picked a Serbian dance diva (Nikolija), Mexican pop duo (Prima J) and a Chinese sensation (Jane Zhang) to get “inspired” by and fuse together ideas for Brit’s latest clip. Arguably, Zhang was the biggest influence. Her desert backdrop while grooving with an army of backup dancers on a raised square-shaped platform is practically a carbon copy. Check out all the original clips below and weigh in afterward.