1. Musically, much of the album is minimalist, recalling the aesthetics of James Blake, SBTRKT, The Weeknd and Drake.
2. On “Blow,” Bey is clearly sniffing the same pixie dust that Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and James Fauntleroy sprinkled on The 20/20 Experience. This uptempo groove would sound right at home on either of Justin’s 2013 discs.
3. Beyoncé and Jay Z may be married, but who said anything about settling down? “Drunk In Love” is intoxicated fun: “We woke up in the kitchen saying/’How in hell did this shit happen?’”
4. But perhaps The Carters aren’t all fun and (drinking) games. Hov expresses his doubts about their relationship on Magna Carta ... Holy Grail’s “Jay Z Blue.” And on “Mine,” Beyoncé reveals her own. “Been having conversations about breakups and separations/I'm not feeling like myself since the baby/Are we gonna even make it? Oooh.”
5. That breakdown—that 808—at the 1:39 mark of “Mine” is damn epic. But once you hit 4:50, you’re officially in the land of OVO. Drake takes over.