When I received a text message notifying me that Beyoncé released a new album last night, I thought it was a joke. I was not home, so I had to conduct my investigation on my aging iPhone. The 30 seconds it took to open up my Safari app felt like seven hours. When it finally loaded and I was able to search away, I realized my skepticism was all for naught: BEYONCÉ was real. BEYONCÉ actually happened. And not only did BEYONCÉ give us 14 new songs, but it also included a pile of music videos. A music video for each song, plus a few more. All of it still seems too good to be true.
I haven't stopped listening to the album. Why would I? Why would anyone? I refuse to talk about anything else today. Or ever. I have a few favorite songs, but my current "HOLY CRAP THIS IS AMAZING" track is "Haunted." It's such an interesting direction for Bey, and I can't get enough of the way it builds. And its corresponding music video is something else. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it's BANANAS.
Here are my reactions (because of course):
0:05 An empty, horrifying room. And whispers. What have I gotten myself into?
0:12 This is some Twilight Zone shit. A mannequin family? Seriously? I don't know if I can do this. I'm 12 seconds in, and I'm thiiiis close to tapping out.
0:25 Oh. Another horrifying room. Super.
0:26 Some scary laughter, a scream, and then a FREAKY FACE POPS UP ON THE SCREEN. Bey. Are you trying to kill me? I hope that's the first and last jump scare.
0:29 A fire magically appears in the fireplace. Oooh! This video has MAGIC!
0:33 Ah, right. The song is called "Haunted." So this video is going to keep being spooky as hell. I reckon I'll buckle up.
0:52 That Cruella De Vil/Madonna look is everything.
1:01 WHO'S SPYING? WHO'S RUNNING THAT SECURITY CAMERA?! GET OUT OF THERE BEY.
1:09 Those rings.
1:26 She tosses her cigarette onto the floor of the foyer. She snuffs it out with her shoe. Oh, BEY. Fearless as all get out in this creepy mansion.
1:36 She lets her cape fall as she walks up the stairs. She isn't bothered by the screams or whispers.
1:52 What's in room number one? I predict it's a monster. Oh. It isn't a monster. It's two not-monster humans. They are not scary or freaky or creepy in the slightest. Perhaps this isn't a mansion full of nightmares after all!
1:54 The song is starting. Right. This is a music video. Not an episode of American Horror Story: Murder House.
2:07 Remember when I was like, "Nothing's scary!" Well, that was before I saw room number two. In room number two, a very creepy gal stares at us/Beyoncé. And then there's a flash of a creepy older woman. I'm a mess.
2:09 Hey, cat. You seem cool.
2:09 Hey, cat? Your friend is giving me the willies.
2:10 Beyoncé on every television screen is the only way to live.
2:13 Uh… hi there?
2:16 I cannot read Bey's expression right here. Is she feeling this place or is she like, "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here?"
2:17 Oh good. Back to more not-monster humans. So is this mansion a place for monsters and not-monsters to just do whatever?
2:25 Ah, it's been a few seconds, so yes. We were overdue for more monster humans.
2:29 I can't see their eyes, but I know they're staring at me. And I do not like it.
2:32 Oh, just a terrifying homage to The Shining and Beetlejuice and The Ring.
2:34 AHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHH! I HATE THIS PART RIGHT HERE.
2:35 The beat kicks in, and the Horror Twins rev things up. What the crap, man? Great. I guess I'm never sleeping again.
2:36 The Horror Twins do not bother Bey. Bey is much stronger than I'll ever be. But we already knew that.
2:38 I don't know how much more I can take of the Horror Twins.
2:46 Bey seems more put off by the lap dance scene than the Horror Twins scene. Okay.
2:47 Why on earth would you climb into a tub with that silk robe on? It'll cause so many water stains!
2:52 Now that I've seen the Horror Twins, the mannequin family does not bother me. The mannequin family can stop by any time.
2:56 That's one way to keep paint off of your clothes.
3:07 Um. Well. This is intense.
3:12 Oh, there are dancers. Beyoncé is going to dance. This is where things are going to get SICKENING. I'm ready.
3:14 DANCE IT OUT. I'M RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.
3:15 I'm dead and dying over that wrist cuff she has on. LOOK HOW FLAWLESS SHE IS WHEN SHE MELTS.
3:18 "You want me?" aksfnvijriwotwopdewgn.
3:19 The way this song builds is just so good.
3:20 "I walked down the hallway…" I have a suggestion for the rest of that lyric: "And saw a never ending horror show."
3:23 Oh my. I did not realize she wasn't wearing pants.
3:28 These dancers are giving me everything I need.
3:32 THE SONG GETS SO NASTY. YES. YES. YES.
3:36 This song is what I'm going to play every time I drive to the mall for Christmas shopping. It'll get me feeling so EVIL and MENACING. I will not be messed with while I'm taking care of business in a Williams Sonoma.
3:41 Is that person on the bed dead? I want to see that person's face.
3:46 As creepy as this mansion may be, it shares one crucial element with my apartment: The constant streaming of Beyoncé music videos.
3:49 Oh. Never mind. I didn't want to see that dead person. I take it back.
4:04 Hi, Queen Bey.
4:05 Hi, my name is Kristie and I am not worthy.
4:06 The song mellows out for a bit...
4:11 …And then it gets EVIL and MENACING again. AUGHHHHHHHHHHH.
4:18 The beat drops. And Bey serves some serious shoulder movement/eye contact.
4:30 Oh so the dead person isn't dead after all. Okay.
4:32 - 4:35 What. The. Hell.
4:37 Goddammit. Not again.
4:38-5:02 Everyone in the mansion is just throwing television sets/dancing/splashing in tubs/being terrifying. I shouldn't be surprised at this point.
5:03 The televisions no longer show Beyoncé , so the inhabitants of the mansion start smashing the screens with baseball bats. I get that.
5:08 The rooms that were full Beyoncé's spooky pals are empty once again. WERE THE SPOOKY PALS EVER REALLY THERE?!
5:12 I need answers, Beyoncé. I beg of you. I need to know what I just watched.
5:16 Oh, you're leaving. You're not explaining any of it to me. That's totally cool. I get it. You don't owe me answers. I was out of line for asking. I'm so sorry.
5:18 The fire is magically snuffed out. As is the video.
Here's the video from Jams.to. But believe you me, you want to buy the album. It's worth it.