By: Juliette Jagger
What do you do when releasing a record the “old fashioned way” stops working even for those at the top of their game? Well, if you’re Beyoncé, you release your record in the dead of night and without any warning. Her 5th self-titled album, which dropped on December 13th, is what’s being called a “visual album” and is comprised of 14 tracks and 17 accompanying videos. Beyond that, the album sold 80,000 copies on iTunes within the first three hours of its release, and has already hit number one in over 100 countries worldwide. Now that’s a fucking feat.
The album itself isn’t about the hit singles; it’s about the package as a whole. The songs aren’t all bangers but they are all really solid tracks. They’re steamy, totally x-rated and they exude a stark sense of female dominance, but they’re also glamorous, vulnerable and incredibly raw. This thing is meant to be experienced from top to bottom and it makes a huge statement about both Beyoncé’s presence in pop right now and the state of music today.
In this day and age you’ve really got to be somebody to make those kinds of record sales, never mind without any promotion and within hours of a release. Here’s the thing, you can work your promotional muscle to no end but if the music doesn’t speak louder than the expectations you build in the process, you may have a critical flop on your hands. That seems to be the case for Lady Gaga at the moment. Although she is a completely different animal and a well-respected pop visionary in her own right, just a few days ago the Duck Dynasty Christmas album was out selling both Britney Spears and ARTPOP.
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