Beyonce and Jay Z team up for their first joint album, with their marital highs and lows providing the inspiration for a record that is at times excellent, but also somewhat self-indulgent and forgettable.
Everything Is Love is a fitting final chapter following on from Beyonce's Lemonade, which saw the singer allude to her husband Jay Z's infidelity for the first time, and Jay's own 4:44 where fans heard him respond to Lemonade while working through his own demons.
Having each had their say with their solo work, and privately gotten their relationship back on track, they have now come together musically to show their united front.
At a modest 38 minutes, we are taken on a journey as Bey and Jay sing about their roots, throw shade at Spotify and the Grammys, and indulge in a plethora of romantic clichés.
We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
Though a joint album, Beyonce stands out, not only nailing her vocal acrobatics but also by out-rapping Jay and bringing emotion to proceedings. Jay often feels like a feature, and there is little passion in his delivery.
Apes**t is the most exciting track on the record. Beyonce does all of the heavy lifting with trap beats, synth, bass and ad libs from Quavo giving it depth. On first listen it's in your head and it will be a welcome addition to a night out. Jay is also at his best here.
A poppier Heard About Us is another highlight, with The Carters meeting here as equals.
We need your consent to load this Spotify contentWe use Spotify to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
LoveHappy is the most honest track, with the duo speaking about their family, the legacy they are creating, and Beyonce gets in a few digs about Jay hurting her before explaining where they're at right now; happy in love, a love that was worth fighting for.
The album as a whole is extremely easy to listen to but it isn't either of their best work, and at times it feels self-indulgent and gimmicky, such as the line their eldest daughter Blue Ivy speaks at the end of the song Boss, "Shout out to Rumi and Sir. Love, Blue." It's like, we get it, you're a family.
Fans have been crying out for a fully collaborative album since Beyonce and Jay Z began their relationship, and the die-hards will lap up the insight into the elusive and private stars' world.
For the rest, it will just be a footnote; the album that includes Apes**t.