Beyonce surprises world with an entire new album (featuring Blue Ivy)

Nobody was prepared for this Beyonce stunt.

Last night I cleaned my stove, ordered some Christmas presents online and bought vitamins. I was feeling pretty accomplished.

Then at midnight, Beyonce released an entire new album.

Yep, that’s right. Clear your schedule, because you’ve got 14 new songs and 17 new videos to pore over, including collaborations with Drake, Frank Ocean, her husband Jay Z and even their baby Blue Ivy. (I hope Blue Ivy doesn’t want to be an actuary when she grows up or anything. Her future’s clearly being planned.)

The new album, called “Beyonce,” is available exclusively on iTunes, and you can’t buy the individual tracks or videos — it’s the whole album or nothing. Why the unusual release strategy? “I feel like now people experience music differently,” Bey said in a video statement on Facebook. “I remember seeing ‘Thriller’ on the TV with my family, and it was an event. We all sat around the TV, and I’m now looking back and I’m so lucky I was born around that time. I miss that immersive experience. Now people only listen to a few seconds of a song on their iPods. They don’t really invest in a whole album.”

Today they will, I bet.

Beyonce’s not leaving you entirely in the dark: There are short clips of the songs and videos available to preview on iTunes. Check out a few below. So far, none seem to be dance anthems; more like dance lullabies. There’s a summery, Caribbean vibe throughout, and even the uptempo numbers seem a little melancholy. Appropriate, I guess, for a beach album released in December.


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