‘LOVE IS EVERYTHING’ lay’s bare the imperfect yet perfect world of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and the brutal honesty and unwavering resilience of love.
Opening the record on a slower tone, ‘SUMMER’ breathes an air of forgiveness as echoed by the warming soulful vocals of Beyoncé, as she pours her heart out about her desire to make love to her husband. This song makes you want to slow dance under the moonlight.
‘APESHIT’ makes a daring, unapologetic entrance as we experience a fresher, more experimental side to Beyoncé, as she pristinely raps over the energising, bouncy beat. Produced by the talented Pharrell Williams and accented by Quavo and Offset libs. Jay-Z proves he ain’t fooling around and makes a memorable appearance rapping, “Every night we in the end-zone / Tell the NFL we in stadiums too”.
The accompanying video directed by Ricky Saiz and filmed at the Louvre in Paris. The video features a selection of Beyoncé’s African-American dancers filling the rooms which are heavily acquainted with a dominance of white European culture to which black culture is rarely revered. However, Bey and Jay somewhat turned these notions on their head, interjecting the future with past to show a true appreciation of each shade of melanin creating a harmony of colour creating a meaningful artistic work.
‘BOSS’ is one ego-tripping track, as the power couple lavish in their tumultuous success. The track was also co-written by Ty Dolla Sign and possesses catchy, fearless claps and groovy trumpets interjecting and marching the song forward in the chorus. Beyoncé as a proud feminist and mother proudly raps, “Droppin’ my daughter off to school every morning,” and further emphasises the pride she has for her heritage and family, “My great-great grandchildren already rich / That’s a lot of brown chl’run on your Forbes list”.
‘NICE’ features vocals from Beyonce, Jay Z and Pharrell. Jay dominates a lot of the track, unapologetically bragging about his favoured, idealistic lifestyle. Despite the track being very much about ego, it is uplifting and motivating, almost like an anthem designed for every listener, as Bey and Pharrell sing, “I can do anything”.
‘713’ is ‘that track’ you should amp up in your car. The contagious hip-hop heavy opening beat just instantly makes you want to viciously bop your head. The track is really a dedication to Beyoncé’s love for her hometown, Houston (713 is the area code for Houston). However, whether purposely intended or not, the melody of Beyonce’s verse reminded me of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Summer Love’. The power couple both reflect on their roots in helping keep them grounded with the hypnotic wealth and success around them.
‘FRIENDS’ is a track that reminds me of something The Weeknd would release. Bey and Jay take a moment to recognise the pivotal role their friends play in keeping them sane amongst the claustrophobic nature of fame and their contributions to their success. Despite the rather positive tone of the lyrics appreciating the couple’s close knit friendship circle. However the track does hint at some past friendship rifts, which upon initially listening I feel can be heard through the rather uncertain, weary and sadder tone of Bey’s voice in the track as she sings, “your friends are fools, my friends are goals”, which suggests that despite singing these feisty lyrics, she is tired of ‘competing’ with these other supposed ‘friends’ in the competitive world of fame and wealth.
‘HEARD ABOUT US’ is like the 2018 ’03 Bonnie & Clyde’. This warpy synth-pop jam and gentle resonating piano takes you back to that 80’s/90’s slow dance love-type feeling. Bey’s purposely heavily americanised accented vocals really fit the mood of the track and its majestic synth. Jay’s verse emphasises the pride he has over his woman, “Bitch know B, she don’t even need a whole name” and later he rhetorically says, “It’s Beyonce, n****”. If this song were a photo it would be a purple-pink sunset over the beach with palm trees in the distance.
‘BLACK EFFECT’ is an unapologetic anthem about the Carter’s becoming a symbol of black wealth and opulence. However, the opening provides some thought-provoking, real spoken lyrics setting the mood for the track ahead, “All of them have a different shape, but all of them is the same in the end”. Additionally, Jay makes reference to the never-ending policy brutality, “Get your hands up high like a false arrest”, and “Now hands where I can see them, f**** a fake arrest”.
‘LOVE HAPPY’ ends the record with Beyonce confronting infidelity issues, “you f***** up the first stone / we had to get remarried”. Here, we are able to see the true honest imperfections of an often perceived ‘perfect couple’, emphasising both the power and imperfections of love. Beyonce also emphasises how this infidelity deeply affected their relationship, but at the same time made them stronger, “this beach ain’t always been no paradise / But nightmares only last one night”.
Despite the record being relatively shorter in length compared to Bey and Jay’s individual previous works, it packs a surefire punch and refuses to hide away from the couple’s relationship insecurities. Once again giving the world another glimpse into their lives and lessons learnt along the way.
You can purchase ‘EVERYTHING IS LOVE’ here.