I love surprise drop albums. Like, I live for them but they also give me anxiety when Beyonce is involved but she seems to love releasing them. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Beyonce and Jay-Z have finally teamed up for full length studio album which they’ve dropped just weeks after embarking on their ‘On The Run Part 2 World Tour’. ‘EVERYTHING IS LOVE’ is an impressive collection of emotionally reflective and therapeutic songs that close the chapter on their very open marriage issues and paints a positive outlook with a bit of humour and a whole lot of fun. This album is a hip-hop meets pop record that hears them combining their two signature sounds together and gives you some very cool moments that would come to life in their live show. It is a very eclectic record that opens with the Beyonce lead slow RNB jam ‘SUMMER’ that is reminiscent of the material her last two records perfected. It eases into the bouncy material that the majority of this record is dominated by. ‘Apeshit’ is an instant highlight with its quotable lyrics and skrt skrt moments. Jay-Z throws in some shade directed towards the NFL when he confesses he turned down The Super Bowl and adds “You need me, I don’t need you. Every night we in the end zone. Tell the NFL we in stadiums too”. And do I need to even mention that Beyonce raps on this track?! Yep, she can actually do anything and will instantly become your favourite new rapper, sorry Cardi B. ‘Nice’ continues the bouncy hip-hop sound with one of my personal favourites because of its catchy hook and hilariously honest lyrics. Beyonce gets savage in her raps and I couldn’t help but have a little giggle about her pettiness. “My success can’t be quantified. If I gave two fucks about streaming numbers, would’ve put ‘Lemonade’ up on Spotify”. I guess it’s safe to say we are never getting ‘Lemonade’ on Spotify. But ‘713’, ‘FRIENDS’, ‘BLACKEFFECT’ and ‘LOVEHAPPY’ offer a more traditionally inclined hip-hop delivery that address their marital ups and downs, fake friends and cultural appreciation. But this album also has a really funky production with ‘Boss’ introducing some horns and a real groove that later on makes the slick ‘Heard About Us’ works so well. Even though this song is so different sonically to anything else on the record it also makes a lot of sense at the same time.
However one thing I am disappointed about is the way they’ve released this record. While I do love surprise drop albums the one thing I’m not a fan of is exclusivity and making it only available on Tidal. But because it’s Beyonce I (along with thousands of others) signed up to the streaming platform to listen to the album to only have it released on the rest of the platforms 24 hours later. When I saw that it was up on Spotify I felt a little played because if they had advertised it would be up in 24 hours I would’ve held back but instead I’ve wasted $18 on a service that I don’t need as I already pay that amount on another service monthly and will end up purchasing a physical copy as well once it gets released. So it felt sly and disappointing that even though they are the most influential and profitable musicians in the world that they would still willingly trick people into purchasing multiple subscriptions just to make a quick dollar. Kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth. But this record is amazing and they have both proved yet again why they are two of the most idolised artists in the world right now.