Christmas came early for Beyoncé stans worldwide. The singer released her fifth studio album unexpectedly just past midnight on Friday, December 13.
The self-titled LP is described as her first “visual album,” as it features 14 songs as well as 17 music videos, shot by top directors such as Hype Williams, Melina Matsoukas, Terry Richardson and more.
“I see music,” said Beyoncé in a statement. “It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music.”
Queen Bey also released Part One of “Self-Titled,” a short documentary on the project that can be viewed on Facebook.
By surprising the public with her album’s release, she bypassed media and critics alike and delivered the work directly to her fans. She describes her intentions: “I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”
The album features collaborations with hubby Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Drake and is available exclusively on iTunes now.