Four and a half years ago, in December 2013, Beyoncé did something that at the time was so unheard of that ever after it the act would be known as “pulling a Beyoncé.” She dropped a surprise self-titled album on the internet with no announcement, campaign, or buildup whatsoever, and then sat back and watched as the Beyhive lost its mind. It’s a power move played with such flair that the only possible reaction is delighted surprise: Of course Beyoncé can break the internet with no warning; she’s Beyoncé. What can’t she do?
On Saturday, Beyoncé one-upped herself. She released a surprise collaboration album with her husband Jay-Z.
Called Everything Is Love, the album debuted over the weekend as an exclusive on Tidal, the subscription streaming service owned in part by Jay-Z and Beyoncé; today, it’s now also streaming for Apple Music and Spotify subscribers; Pitchfork reports it will be available on Spotify’s free tier beginning in two weeks. At just under 40 minutes long, with nine tracks total, and it’s the first album for either Carter since their love-and-adultery duology (Beyoncé’s 2016 Lemonade, which accused and then forgave Jay-Z of infidelity, and Jay-Z’s 2017 4:44, which featured Jay-Z repenting for his sins, also both first released as Tidal exclusives).
Everything Is Love seems to be the concluding piece to this marriage series: It culminates with the couple crowing that they’re “happily in love,” while in real life the Carters are currently on the road together on a joint stadium tour called On the Run II.
In addition to the nine tracks, there’s a video for the song “Apeshit,” featuring Beyoncé rapping as her husband takes a back seat to play hype man for her. The whole thing is shot in an empty Louvre, in what seems to be a continuation of Beyoncé’s recent interest in reinterpreting and recontextualizing the art of the Western canon. (See, for instance, her two maternity photo shoots and her 2017 Grammys performance.)
Update: An earlier version of this article said that Everything Is Love would be available on Spotify for free. It is available only on premium for the next two weeks. We regret the error.