11. Perhaps Bey is taking cues from her play sister Kelly Rowland. This album features some of the most sexually explicit content she’s ever released. On “Partition,” she coos about a quickie in the car.
12. There’s a chink in Beyoncé’s armor and it’s named “XO.” Snooze button.
13. What a way for Pharrell to close out 2013—maybe his most ubiquitous year. The timeless, old soul sheen he lays on “Superpower” is amazing. (Need that Channel Orange followup from Frank Ocean STAT.)
14. This might be Beyonce’s best album, definitely her most well-rounded. There are the grown-up ballads of 4, trendiness and turn-up tunes a la B’Day, and all-girl-power-everything.
15. You can feel the time and labor that went into this album. While folks grew impatient about the release, it’s well worth the wait. 2013 is done, but this just might be the album to rule 2014.