Beyoncé Reveals Artistry, Herself on “Beyoncé” (REVIEW)

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Beyoncé pulled off a coup late last Thursday night when she released a terrific self-titled “visual album” – containing 14 songs, each with an accompanying video – straight to iTunes with zero advance warning or fanfare.  The record is expected to easily top the weekly album chart despite being released midway through the stanza, and according to Apple, the album had already sold more than 800,000 digital copies by Monday morning. Not only does Beyoncé rank as the year’s most accomplished and engaging mainstream pop album by a rather laughable margin, but its calculatedly shrugged-off release strategy can’t help but read as an imperious kiss-off toward the singer’s competitors for the 2013 crown — Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and even her husband Jay Z — all of whom worked up gallons of sweat and employed every eyeball-grabbing trick in the book to move their product, only…

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