So maybe your gut reaction is to say……..Beyoncé, how mainstream can Salacious get? On a regular day I would tend to agree with you but today isn’t one of those days. I don’t watch a lot of music videos but I stumbled on the visual journey into sound that is the Beyonce album and wow, this thing deserves attention. This is a big event as far as I am concerned for several reasons. Most significantly of which is Beyoncé’s uncompromising effort to connect art to music and suggest a personal investment on behalf of consumers when they “experience” music.
The blogosphere has spilt a lot of ink debasing Beyonce’s intellect based on her interviews and her seemingly brainwashed demeanour but with the release of this album she has provided a more than sufficient answer to the nay sayers: actions speak louder than words. I don’t care what portion of these songs she “actually” wrote and produced herself. At the end of the day whatever endeavours we embark upon are often the product of a team effort and it is the team (Noah “40” Shebib and Jordan of Majid Jordan to name a few) that deserves praise not necessarily just the captain. How will history judge this team? I would venture to say that the team behind this work has succeeded in putting something unique out there that we will not soon forget.
On iTunes there is a “making of” for the album and it really speaks to Beyonce’s effort to connect images to feelings and emotions. Her desire to immerse her audience in the music is welcome, especially coming from someone who has such a great ability to touch a massive amount of people around the globe. I consider her discussion of “pop music” to be a bit incomplete yet I think her message about an obsession with singles instead of investing in albums is a good one. We live in an increasingly “busy” culture in which in any given day we are bombarded by constant stimulation whether Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram etc. we as a culture have become addicted to sound bites: easily digestible tid bits of information that we accept, reject in milliseconds all while we sip a late and gossip about the next piece of information that we are preparing to devour. Our lives have become a war zone of sorts where information battles for our attention and the pace of our lives never seems to slow down. Beyonce’s visual album addresses this malaise and asks us to slow down and focus on one artistic thing at a time.
To sit down and to silence this deafening chatter of information. To sit down and participate in an artistic conversation of sorts between the visual, the auditory and the emotional. A good marketing ploy? Perhaps. A winning of the battle for our attention? More than likely. A welcome invitation to the world to re-consider how we consume artistic expression? I would argue yes.