Beyonce, Jay-Z drop surprise album

Singer Beyonce first posted news of Everything Is Love, her album with husband Jay-Z, on social media.
Singer Beyonce first posted news of Everything Is Love, her album with husband Jay-Z, on social media.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • The musical ambush from Beyonce continues.

Last Saturday, without advance warning or promotion, she - along with husband Jay-Z - released a long-rumoured and teased collaborative album.

Queen Bey first posted news of the new music to Instagram and Twitter. And the buzz intensified when the couple's concert at London Stadium concluded last Saturday night with a large sign saying: "Album out now."

Everything Is Love, the nine-track release, appeared initially only on streaming service Tidal, owned in part by the couple.

Beyonce pioneered this brand of musical "guerilla attack" with her 2013 self-titled album, which included videos for each track.

She upped the ante in April 2016 with the semi-surprise release of Lemonade, debuting the music via a big-budget, hour-long film that premiered on HBO.

That album, a staggering if carefully orchestrated confession about marital discord and black womanhood, also introduced a new chapter for Beyonce and Jay-Z, who have increasingly mined public perception (and rumours) about their life together in art and performance.

After she revealed tales of cheating and near-ruin on Lemonade, he followed last year with 4:44, a self-lacerating acknowledgement of misdeeds, earning eight Grammy nominations, including for Album Of The Year.

Everything Is Love in many ways completes their conceptual trilogy in an expert, tactical showing of family brand management.

Beyonce introduces the album's overriding message of romantic bliss on the first track, Summer, singing: "I want to drown in the depths of you."

The couple are on a stadium tour, On The Run II, with shows in the United States starting next month and lasting into October.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2018, with the headline 'Beyonce, Jay-Z drop surprise album'. Print Edition | Subscribe