“EVERYTHING IS LOVE” is the first album from THE CARTERS, the name for the collaboration between JAY-Z and Beyonce. This is a nine-song, 38-minute album that dropped out of nowhere on Tidal, and it featured a visual along with it that is not involved in this review.
Jay and Beyonce are two of the biggest names in music, so of course I was excited to hear their first full-length collab effort. Both are coming off of terrific albums that were about infidelity and the relationship between them, so the thought of both of them coming together sounded incredible.
Of course, Beyonce brings her phenomenal voice to early every single track on this album. She handles most of the choruses, and she is often the highlight moment with her verses. This is the most clear on her portion of “713,” where she is intense, but is able to keep her voice solid through the emotion.
“APESHIT” is one of the stronger tracks on the album, as it brings some true intensity, especially from Jay’s verse. The Quavo ad libs are much appreciated in adding hype to the track, as he works very well with Beyonce’s vocals.
The final two tracks were some of my favorites, again because of the added emotion that were put into them. “BLACK EFFECT” has another great Jay verse, as well as the chorus, and the beat is one of the strongest on the project. Beyonce also adds to the energy, but this very much feels like Jay’s song to shine, as he brags as good as anyone on the planet, but he sounds great doing it here.
Easily the best song here is the closer, “LOVEHAPPY,” as it is exactly what I was hoping the two would bring in a collab effort. Listening to these two powerhouses share lines back and forth was simply incredible, and they both sound terrific here. It works even more that they are talking about moving on from the infidelity and the drama that they once faced. This is a phenomenal track, and one that is potent with its lyrics while still working well as a song.
For a collab effort, it is great to see these two moving forward following truly heartbreaking albums like “Lemonade” and “4:44”. Those two albums are terrific pieces of work, so moving on to combine for an album showing that the duo is still very much at the top was a nice arc to move on, and one that made this a much different listen.
Even though the arc itself is interesting, I often found “EVERYTHING IS LOVE” to be quite tedious, especially because every song feels like these two are just flaunting how rich and successful they are. Yes, I know that is kind of what JAY-Z does, but for a collab effort following such different projects for both of them, it was pretty annoying for this project to be so safe and uninteresting with its themes.
This is especially noticeable on a song like “BOSS,” where the verses and the beat get stale fast, and it becomes more of a chore to hear a couple of near-billionaires flex on me. Yeah, both of them sound fine, but the song is so meh in every aspect that even their star power can’t carry it the whole way.
“NICE” is similar to this, as it is just more boasting, but it is saved by a phenomenal Pharrell verse at the end of the track. “HEARD ABOUT US,” is about, you guessed it, them being so famous you know about them, and it is just repetitive tracks like these that don’t hit nearly as hard when these two are already so far at the top.
“FRIENDS” is actually a song on a different topic, but it is just overly long and it gets incredibly boring quick, as the production certainly didn’t help it. That is actually a common theme, as most of the beats are incredibly generic and have no flair to them at all, making all the pressure go on the stars to deliver.
“EVERYTHING IS LOVE” is a pretty good album from two of the best artists alive, as there are clear highlights where the stars shine through, especially at the end of the album. When they get a little more energetic, this project works wonders, but there are too many songs that just feel incredibly bland and overly bloated. Flexing at this point in your career does not come off nearly as strong, and, while there are enjoyable pieces, I found this collab severely underwhelming.
What did you think of “EVERYTHING IS LOVE”? Comment below with your thoughts.