This past week left much to discuss in the world of music. Veteran R&B hit-maker Ne-Yo released a decent album, “Good Man”, which showcases his ability to croon out trendy records. Vocalist Christina Aguilera released her most soulful, cohesive unit in over a decade with “Liberation”; an ode to hip-hop and R&B. Newcomer Jacquees’ blessed fans with a noteworthy sexy set. Elsewhere, veteran rap heavyweights Nas and Kanye West united for the undeniable instant classic that is “NASIR”. While all of these gems are noteworthy standouts, they’re unfortunately not what the music business is buzzing about in the last 72 hours.
Saturday night marked the eve to Father’s Day. Aside from that, it was the weekend eve of Juneteenth. Both of these occasions likely contributed to the release of The Carter’s surprise joint-album, “Everything is Love”. Released initially as a Tidal exclusive, the effort has now been released both on Apple and Spotify platforms. The album arrives just weeks before the duo kicked off their On The Run II tour overseas.
In solo careers both spawning over two decades, there isn’t much left to be accomplished by music’s power couple. Both have remained in the forefront of the music scene the bulk of their career. Nonetheless, this album seems like a new endeavor, being that it has been long rumored and finally available for the masses. And in many ways…the album seems like the perfect installment at the perfect time.
2016 was Beyonce’s year to vindicate her broken heart with her album, “Lemonade”, penned entirely as an album on heartbreak and anguish, after confirming her husband had stepped out of their marriage. A year later, he replied with an opus devoted to rekindling the flame and fixing his marriage with the critically acclaimed “4:44”. Since then, the couple have now parented twins, making their journey even more of a compelling story. But yet still, that would not have been enough of a conclusion.
“Everything Is Love” does more than give new tunes to churn while visiting the powerhouse couple live and in concert. What it does instead, is serve as the chapter after revealing their personal lives and getting back to the music alone. That’s not to say the album doesn’t allude to their former story. Bey surely reminds Jay of him ruining the family and how she wanted to kill the chick when she saw her (still wondering who she is). But elsewhere, the couple shine with one another.
While social media has frenzied over the feisty club banger that is “APESHIT”, the album’s standouts showcase the duo in their natural disposition. On the arrogant “BOSS” and “NICE”, the king and queen take turn talking their shit. For those wondering if Bey would splurge on spitting bars, or Jay would soften, that’s not the case. Bey finds balance in doing both her singing and rapping, and all songs display Jay’s abilities to be his finest on many different styles of tracks.
The fire that is “713” will keep everyone wishing that they were from Houston, with it’s radio appeal. Other standouts include “BLACK EFFECT” and “HEARD ABOUT US”. Perhaps the album’s finest moment is the last, “LOVEHAPPY”. The track is a worthy conclusion to the last three years that the duo has been public relationship talk. Both shine brighter than the stars. The project continues to prove the couple’s ability to remain sonically consistent and relevant, and if it’s any indication, they will own “SUMMER”, like the album’s opening track.