Beyoncé has managed to achieve something that few artists can pull off in this day and age: she released a surprise album. BEYONCÉ, which can be yours for just $15.99, is a sprawling collection of 14 new songs and 17 music videos, some of which were directed by Beyoncé herself. The reaction was huge on social media, and many people paid the full price right off the bat. The physical album will be available packaged as a CD and DVD in time for the holidays, but it was definitely iTunes, a platform that has been losing steam as of late, that was the beneficiary of this non-campaign.
Very little of the new album had leaked previously except for a “Grown Woman,” which appeared in a Pepsi ad, and “Standing on the Sun,” which was the backdrop for her H&M campaign. Some of the hawk-eyed press saw her on unconfirmed video shoots, but no other information was circulated. Her bold decision to pass on the PR circus that would ensure around the hype of a new album release, appears to have come from a desire to communicate directly with her fans. A teaser posted on Beyoncé’s Instagram – after the actual release, of course – is one of the few promotional moves.
“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she stated in her press release. “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.” The press thinks it’s a success: “With her latest work, Beyonce proved she wanted the work to speak for itself — a luxury rarely afforded to an act of her caliber,” wrote Gerrick D. Kennedy at the LA Times.
The individual tracks won’t be sold online for the time being – Beyoncé has expressed her wishes to have it heard as a full album.
You can watch 30-second snippets of every video on the album on Beyonce’s YouTube page, and check out “Yoncé” below featuring supermodel Chanel Iman.