Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.


Surprise! Beyoncé Just Released A New Visual Album And You Can Get It Right Now

You crazy for this one, Santa!

Pre-release hype for an album seems to drag on forever sometimes. We're inundated with interviews and images of the artist touching various studio apparatuses to confirm that they're indeed working on something; then there are track list, album art, and guest spot announcements before the viral and in-ernest marketing campaigns even roll out. With all of that going on, it's almost as if the artist is daring you not to get completely sick of him or her by the time the album finally comes out. *cough* Miley *cough* Another way to go about things, however, is to pull what will now be known as "a Beyoncé."

In the wee hours of Thursday, December 12, Queen Bey dropped a surprise album exclusively on iTunes. There had been hints of late that the artist would be putting out new music sometime in 2014, hints which have been revealed to be wonderful misdirection. Skirting any possible chance of leakage somehow, the self-titled LP simply appeared on iTunes, accompanied by the twin flanks of Instagram and Facebook announcements—and disrupting the standard surprise format Radiohead established in 2007, from "Hey, we have an album coming out in 10 days!" to "You can buy my album right now!"

Beyoncé describes her new one as a "visual album," featuring 14 songs and 17 videos. The digital booklet included also features a distinct image for each song. Luminaries like Drake, Frank Ocean, and of course, Mr. Beyoncé, a/k/a Jay Z, all make appearances. Earlier this year, it seemed like Jay Z would be the only one in this family to ambush the world with a hype-circumventing truncated release cycle. Appearances are deceiving. Also, like Jay Z, Beyoncé couldn't resist putting daughter Blue Ivy on a song with her—track 14, appropriately titled "Blue". That little girl probably already has more publishing royalties than most music industry lifers.

[Video via Beyonce Facebook]

Add New Comment


  • Nicole Kim Phillips

    There are some rumors floating around that Beyoncé released this album because she wants to continue to be the Top Female Dog In the Music Industry. With the likes of talent like Tamar Braxton making a creative groundbreaking move onto the scene early showing off talent, a belly and then maintaining her presence until she was ready to take us home thinking of her fabulous life and marriage, Beyoncé's little move is no surprise. Look we have people like Kelis making an announcement and then the next thing you know we have Beyonces album. This is no surprise, since most artist always keep something (music) in the fire anyway. As far as promotion goes, she does not need it. Not to mention, she has a creative team at her beck and call. She's a big star already and does not need the money, according to news reports on her net worth. Pharell had his 24 hour video and now Beyoncé has her surprise release. So what!

  • Marvin Ferrell

    Tamar Braxton?? You can't be serious right now. You've got some serious hate in your blood.

  • Nicole Kim Phillips

    It's not hate never that. I love Jay-Z and his music to much for that. You probably would not understand if I tried to explain it to you. Although, Tamar has not put out as many albums as Beyoncé, she certainly has more personality than Bey. I can't take anything away from Bey. She is good at what she does. Would I buy her no! Would I buy Jay-Z? Yes. I'm just ride or die Kelis for real and I would always buy her. Tamar certainly has nothing to do with that, but she is beautiful. Just like Beyoncé and her talent is certainly on Beyonces level. She just has to catch up on the album side and the crazy side.

  • Marvin Ferrell

    Tamar is not even in the same ballpark as beyonce. Sorry thats the most ridiculous thing I've heard regarding music in a very very long time. Not even close. Jay z isn't even relevant and I wish people would stop that beyonce is married to the man thats about it. I like them both but one has no bearing on the other in terms of music.

  • Nicole Kim Phillips

    Well that is your opinion. I will say that many fans only tolerate Beyoncé and her music because of Jay-Z. He is the reason she has gotten as big as she has. She will tell you that. That craziness comes out because of love. Threaten to ring the alarm and watch how she blows! I know. I'm just being truthful.

  • Marvin Ferrell

    Now I'll just say flat out you don't know what the hell you are talking about before jigga she was a part of the highest selling female act of all time, had won multiple grammies, and had debuted at number one on the bb charts multiple times. She had sold several times more records than him and was worth over 200 million dollars. You couldn't be more wrong. Seriously. You just honestly said one of the more ridiculous things I've ever heard. She could tell me that herself (she wouldn't and has never said anything remotely close to that) but she would be wrong too. Do you work at Fox news? They might be hiring.

  • Nicole Kim Phillips

    Like I said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I like Fox Wendy William works for them right? I work at Abornewords. You should checkout our Blog Pleasure Section. It's really something special.

  • Marvin Ferrell

    The part about her being as big as she is because of Jay isn't an opinion. It isn't bore about by the facts. Her career was made before Jay Z even met her. Likewise I'm a tech blogger you should check out it's really something special.
    Finally when you mention Wendy she would certainly tell you what you are saying is false which is different than an opinion. The tamar thing was your opinion. The other thing is just false this is her fifth number one album and that doesn't include destiny's child.