Ranking the videos from the surprise new Beyoncé visual album

We countdown the 17 new music videos and songs from the just released new iTunes album from Mrs. Carter.

  • Beyoncé dances on the beaches of Brazil in the video for "Blue" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé gets grungy in the video for "Flawless" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé acts like a statue in the video for "Mine" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé goes home to Houston in the video for "No Angel" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé eats breakfast in a palace in the video for "Partition" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé and Harvey Keitel skewer pageants in the "Pretty Hurts" video on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé grinds atop a Ferrari in the video for "Blow" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé cherishes her love for Jay Z in the video for "Drunk in Love" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé shows off her curves in the video for "Rocket" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé shows off her marble in the video for "Jealous" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé does her thing in the video for "Ghost" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé gets trippy in the video for "Grown Woman" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé faces off with Pharrell in the video for "Superpower" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé rides a roller coaster in a Biggie hat in the video for "Blue" on her new self-titled visual album.

  • Beyoncé blows smoke in the video for "Yoncé" on her new self-titled visual album.

Beyoncé dances on the beaches of Brazil in the video for "Blue" on her new self-titled visual album.


As even those astronauts in the International Space Station know by now, Beyoncé shock-dropped a new album on iTunes at the stroke of midnight this morning. Titled BEYONCÉ (Of course. It was either that or Pepsi Blue.), Mrs. Carter's fifth album is a shadowy, downtempo showcase for her unparalleled pipes. "Radio tell me, Speed it up / I just go slower," the 32-year-old raps in "Partition." So, if you're looking for another "Single Ladies," you might be bummed, irrationally.

Well, not quite. The incredible "Grown Woman," which comes off like Major Lazer producing an Afrobeat track for MJ's Thriller, made my day. Over and over. Upon downloading these 1.17 GB, I immediately dug through the tracks to find this year's "Countdown," my favorite song of 2011. "Grown Woman" is it. Unfortunately, it's not exactly on the album proper. The cut comes as bonus video at the tail end of this "visual album." Oh, right, I forgot to mention: There's a slick, expensive, choreography-and-booty-riddled music video for each and every track. Eat that, Taylor Swift. Watching is easily the best way to experience the record (if we can still call this merely a "record").

Lucky us, we get the queen herself in concert tonight, at the United Center. To celebrate, I've ranked all 17 new videos. Here is the countdown:

17) Yoncé
This album interlude features fur coats and grills in a street shoot that couldn't have taken more than a couple hours.

16) Drunk in Love (feat. Jay Z)
Madonna's "Cherish" is a big influence here. Jay Z continues to ruin the songs of his loved ones with lines like "Your breastesses are my breakfast," as his wife rolls around in the ocean surf in black & white.

15) Ghost
A Cover Girl ad with full-body condoms.

14) Jealous
Walking down the street in a leather jacket. A car racing down roads at night. That's about it.

13) Partition
Stripper poles, erotic booty cabaret and displays of Versailles-like wealth. So, you know, an MTV video.

12) Rocket
More Madonna vibes, this time Erotica/Sex era, as Beyoncé takes a shower in "tasteful" B&W.

11) Heaven
Wow, okay, we're mentioning Madonna a whole bunch. 'Cé prays in a church with rosary beads, and drives through twilit tunnels in an old Mercedes. Religion, man.

10) XO
Just a day-in-life piece (signaled by the wearing of denim), with Our Hero chilling with her girls at the amusement park before going on stage. *Note: This can not be what Beyoncé's life is really like.

9) ***Flawless
After opening with vintage Ed McMahon, it quickly cuts into a generic Rihanna territory—trying too hard to go hard while appropriating other fashion scenes (here: grunge). Can we see more of that Star Search footage?

8) Mine (feat. Drake)
Posing as Marian statuary, kicking up sand with t-shirts pulled over their heads. Also: Drake pouts his lips and gazes into your swooning heart. As always.

7) Pretty Hurts
A criticism of the beauty industry, from one of the most beautiful women in the world, one who won't let people photograph her and mandated that ugly images of her be wiped off the Internet. So, the message is kind of bullshit, but Harvey Keitel and a pageant host!

6) Superpower
The Destiny's Child underlings—er, women guest in this postapocalyptic doo-wop from Frank Ocean.

5) No Angel
A return to her hometown, with typically "gritty" slow-motion shots of dudes showing off their tricked-out whips and tats in the neighborhoods of Houston. Beyoncé wears a Rockets jersey and a plush white fur coat. To keep it real.

4) Haunted
Stanley Kubrick meets Robert Palmer.

3) Blue (feat. Blue Ivy)
Yes, it is ridiculous that baby Blue Ivy Carter has now received two featured album credits. As treacly as it can be to put the sounds your child goo-gooing on a track, this is a rather sweet sentiment overall. Also, Beyoncé does a Carmen Miranda thing on the sands of Ipanema (BECAUSE WE ARE IN BRAZIL AND THAT IS ALL THEY DO THERE). Also, there is twerking in the favelas and shots of Carnival. Naturally.

2) Blow
The roller rink figures prominently, and appropriately, in this candied and cool disco cut stuffed with '80s cheese. Beyoncé writhes atop a cherry red Testarossa, rides a lowriding bicycle, drops that ass with her single ladies in neon black light, plays a keytar.

1) Grown Woman
You know when you were a kid and sang to pop hits in your bedroom? This is four-and-half joyous minutes of that, cut with VHS footage of Lil' Beyoncé Knowles… well before it turns into cosmic, psychedelic tribal dancing on UHF television. I love this so much.


Follow us

Time Out Chicago on Facebook   Time Out Chicago on Twitter   Time Out Chicago on Instagram   Time Out Chicago on Pinterest   Time Out Chicago on Google Plus   Time Out Chicago on Foursquare   Time Out Chicago on Spotify

Send tips to:

Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)

laura.baginski@timeout.com