Multi-genre dance producer Diplo's typically loose lips have suggested that Beyoncé has scrapped work she's done on her upcoming album, the creation of which she's been talking about forever (or at least, since January). "Fuckin' thing sucks!" is how I like to imagine King Bey regarding this rejected body of work, but the truth is that she's probably just nodding and grinning serenely about it.
I just did two songs for her new album, well, I tried. I think she scrapped the record. The record was supposed to be done and they have been hitting me up for brand new ideas. I like to work from scratch, (but) sometimes I get called in to fix songs.
I'm still putting stuff together for Beyoncé's album. They're still trying to figure out what they want that to be, which I'm not mad at. Beyoncé's the kind of artist where you're not gonna see it till it's right. And her fans — they love her so they'll be patient.
Amen. This is a great thing. The songs Bey has released via Pepsi and H&M ads, the Epic soundtrack and her Tumblr have been decent, but not quite of stop-the-world-dead-in-its-tracks caliber needed to launch an album. Pop music is product, which means its status as art is always at least arguable. Regardless, it is certainly a craft, and crafting takes time. Crafting takes as long as it takes.
There's a certain rush model that some pop stars follow. Starting with 2009's Rated R, Rihanna has released a new album every following fall. They have yielded diminishing returns. As bodies of work, they are increasingly forgettable and unendurable, which is ironic considering her manager Jay Brown's comments about her work pace:
Kids want new material all the time I think you become disposable when you put out an album every three years...It's not like we force her. She goes into the studio because she likes it.
Fuck keeping up with the youth and catering to short attention spans, even if it's at the artist's commercial peril.
And it's not just Beyoncé who's doing the rejecting. Mariah Carey announced last month that her upcoming album, which may or may not be titled The Art of Letting Go (she's yet to confirm), was being pushed back indefinitely from its expected release date of July 23:
While making this album, I got so immersed in the creative process that I just don't feel I would be doing it justice to release it on 7/23.— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) June 25, 2013
I'd rather not exclude meaningful songs. I want to give you this album as it's meant to be heard.When I'm ready, you'll be the first 2 know!— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) June 25, 2013
Lady Gaga today announced her third full-length ARTPOP will be released on November 11, almost two and a half years after 2011's Born This Way. That's a marked slowing down from her initial burst of creativity. Adele said earlier this year that she'll record her third album when she has "something to sing about."
As the music industry continues its downslide, people flail, desperate to monetize, clinging to an industry-wide slippage of popularity and relevance. To take one's time and get it right is a bold act. Letting people miss you is still a valid form of promotion.
[Image via Getty]