Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Keturah Harris
White Station High School
2013 was a remarkable year for music.
From the release of Fall Out Boy’s comeback album, Save Rock and Roll to Drake’s Nothing Was The Same, fans and stans were satisfied. (Stan: An overzealous fan and supporter of a celebrity, most commonly a pop singer. Source: Wikipedia.)
However, the game changed on December 13, 2013 when Beyoncé Knowles-Carter released an unexpected self -titled visual album of 14 tracks and 17 videos via iTunes.
There was absolutely no mention of the album prior to its release. There were no tweets, no Instagram posts, and no leaks. Despite the lack of prior promotion, the album reached #1 on iTunes in 100 countries one day after its release.
The tracks follow a list of themes that include self-empowerment, feminism, and sexuality. In the first track, “Pretty Hurts,” Beyoncé takes on the controversial subject of society’s unachievable beauty standards, featuring powerful lyrics, like “perfection is the disease of a nation.” In reference to the slow ballad, “Heaven,” Beyoncé has said it is “about death and finding the strength in knowing that someone had an incredible life and that giving you some type of closure.”
On a lighter note, Beyoncé sings about the love of her husband, Jay Z and their child, Blue Ivy in several tracks. In her singles “Drunk In Love” and “XO”, she describes her love life with Jay Z. “Drunk In Love” is viewed an excellent continuation of one of Jay’s and Beyoncé’s collaborations, “Crazy In Love.”
“XO” is an upbeat tune with a fun and colorful video filmed in Coney Island to accompany it. Produced by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, “XO” includes lovely lyrics like, “In the darkest night hour/I’ll search through the crowd/Your face is all that I see/I’ll give you everything/Baby, love me like XO.”
The final track, “Blue” features Blue Ivy and is obviously dedicated to her. It features precious and heartfelt lyrics like “Each day I feel so blessed to be looking at you/Cause when you open your eyes, I feel alive.”
Overall, Beyoncé’s surprise album ended on a superb note. I give it 5 stars.