Everything You Need to Know About Jay Z and Beyonce’s Surprise Album

There is little to do but stand in awe, mouth agape at the sheer power, dedication, social capital and creative genius of Beyonce Knowles. The celebrity supernova has proved once again she is the master of changing the game, of elevating the age-old music video into a veritable art form. Jay Z and Beyonce released the single Apesh*t along with the announcement that they would be releasing a joint album entitled Everything is Love.

The Carters have been through a trying period. Beyonce’s last album, Lemonade, was a visually-piercing ode to black power, a celebration of the strength of the female collective as well as a meditation on her processing the infidelity of her husband and father to her children. The power couple have returned, with a seemingly renewed and strengthened commitment to their marriage and their artistic partnership.

Shot in the famed French art museum the Louvre, the Carters subverted a historically white space into a space that recognized and revered bodies of color. Standing before a floor-to-ceiling portrait of a scene depicting Napoleon, an imperialist who was an advocate of the slave trade, Beyonce dances with a line of black female dancers in varying skin tones of tan and brown, its impossible to interpret this as anything but a spectacular expression of defiance.

The nine-song project includes creative collaborations with a long list of songwriters, producers and fellow music artists. The album dropped two weeks into the couples worldwide On The Run II tour. The album is currently only available on Tidal’s streaming service.