Midweek Music: Beyonce
For over a year and a half Beyonce has been recording and filming 17 new songs with corresponding music videos. AND NOBODY KNEW. There was no big marketing push for the “visual-album.” Her self titled body of work just sort of arrived on iTunes with not much more than a tweet announcement last Friday. In fact, Target wont even sell the collection in stores. So why were over 600,000 copies of “Beyonce” sold within three days of the uneventful release?
With only a couple weeks remaining in 2013, she managed to surprise us with one of the best albums of year. Written, produced and directed by Beyonce, the album came as a total surprise. None of her collaborators gave away the surprise either. Okay, so Jay Z and her little Blue Ivy weren’t about to blow her cover. But Drake, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Miguel, Frank Ocean? I’ve heard that Mr. Ocean is a private guy, but this is no ordinary secret. These top artists must have also believed in Beyonce’s cause: to challenge the music industry so that consumers can really engage with music.
These days songs can be purchased piecemeal. This only further promotes the singles billboards. Listeners pick and choose radio tracks, focusing on 2.5 minutes, instead ofhearing the full album’s story. Beyonce’s case that “right now, people experience music differently” is most obvious with the amount of music videos played on MTV.
Beyonce’s visual-album is intended to help her audience better engage with music in a deeply impactful way. “I miss that immersive experience.” The experience that Beyonce created is seamless, beautiful, and personal. The album is only available as a whole. Buy it on iTunes and see for yourself. You wont be disappointed that you took the time to watch a collection of musical films. But of course Beyonce says it best: “That experience in my brain is what I wanted people to experience for the first time.”