What?! Beyoncé flew in from left field last night and dropped a full-length album on iTunes that no one was expecting. Called simply Beyoncé, the ambitious “visual album” contains 14 tracks and 17 music videos with collaborations from everyone from Frank Ocean and Sia to Justin Timberlake and even daughter Blue Ivy.
In response to the surprise release, Beyoncé said this: "I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it. I am bored with that. 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."
For now, the album — the singer's fifth studio work — is exclusively available on iTunes for $15 (sigh, says Spotify users.) The L.A. Times reports that physical copies will start rolling out next week, with a double-disc CD/DVD released just before the holidays. Get your copy here.