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Music Review: The Carters - Everything is Love

Carters
The essential message of this surprise album by Beyoncé and Jay-Z can be found on the closing track “Lovehappy.” “We broke up and got back together,” raps Jay-Z. “Now we’re happy in love,” replies Beyoncé. The husband-and-wife superstars, who 15 years ago famously proclaimed to be “crazy in love,” have weathered their share of marital discord, as revealed on their Lemonade and 4:44 albums. But Bey and Jay, who was born Shawn Carter, have clearly worked out their problems and these nine tracks celebrate the reconciliation. On “713,” the area code for Beyoncé’s hometown of Houston, her husband calls his wife a “black queen” and raps “you rescued us.” Queen Bey raps more than she sings, shining...
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Music Review: Jay-Z - 4:44

Music Review: Jay-Z - 4:44
Jay-Z resides comfortably in the palace of hip-hop: a groundbreaking rapper and label owner, with 21 Grammy Awards and sales of more than 100 million records to his name. As Beyoncé’s husband, he is also one half of pop’s royal couple. But all has not been well on the homefront, if we’re to believe the superstars’ artistic output. His alleged marital infidelity became grist for Queen Bey’s mill on her hit 2016 album Lemonade. Then there was elevator video footage showing an altercation with sister-in-law Solange. Jay-Z addresses both subjects on his 13th solo album. Confessional and apologetic, it’s an impressive mark of maturation from the man born Shawn Carter. Ove...
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Blog Post: Nick's Picks - The Best Albums of 2016

Blog Post: Nick's Picks - The Best Albums of 2016
A selection of 2016's finest recordings, in no particular order: Radiohead  A Moon Shaped Pool - How can something so harrowing sound so sweet? Rich in symphonic and folky lushness, it’s big, beautiful and a little nightmarish. Beyoncé  Lemonade - With profound and touching songs about family ties, racial pride and female strength, Beyoncé makes a powerful personal statement and her career-defining album. David Bowie Blackstar - Bowie’s swan song, a trippy, jazz-infused art rock album that includes the shape-shifting, apocalyptic title track. Solange  A Seat at the Table - A stunning accomplishment for Beyoncé’s once-overshadowed sister: a gorgeous album that is both political...
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Music Review: Beyoncé - Lemonade

Music Review: Beyoncé - Lemonade
It’s easy to see Beyoncé’s new album as an angry response to a broken marriage. Some songs seem to confirm rumors of alleged infidelities and an impending split with rapper husband Jay-Z. “We built sand castles that washed away,” Beyoncé sings wistfully, before venting “What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you.” Anger is most visceral on “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” a raw number featuring Jack White’s bluesy guitar. But the album also explores themes of hope, forgiveness and redemption and includes “Freedom,” her Black Lives Matter anthem with Kendrick Lamar. “It’s time to listen, it’s time to fight,” Beyoncé sings on “Forward,” a duet with James Blake. By the time she confesses, “How I ...
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Beyoncé - Beyoncé Platinum Edition

Queen Bey took the world by surprise just over a year ago, dropping her self-titled album on Dec. 13 at midnight without warning. “I didn’t want to release [it] the way I’ve done it—I’m bored with that,” she explained. “I feel like I’m able to speak directly to my fans.” Its 14 new songs and 17 videos formed what she called her first “visual album.” Now Beyoncé is reissuing that album, packaged with a live DVD and a disc of new tracks titled More . And while it’s not another stealth release, the Platinum Edition is the perfect Christmas gift for fans (those who digitally purchased Beyoncé can buy just the new material). Along with remixes of “Flawless” with Nicki Minaj, “Drunk in Love” with ...
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