Everything Is Love is a collaborative album by Beyoncé and Jay-Z under the name The Carters (which is their surnames by marriage) that was released on June 16, 2018 by Parkwood Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, S.C Enterprises, and Roc Nation.
- Heard About Us
- Black Effect
Plans about a joint album by Beyonce & Jay-Z were announced by Jay-Z during an interview with The New York Times in 2017 when he said that they used "art almost like a therapy session" to create new music.
However, since they also worked on their respective albums "4:44" and "Lemonade", and Beyoncé's music progressed more rapidly, the project was temporarily stopped.
Rumors about the collaborative project began emerging in March 2018 when the couple announced their On the Run II Tour.
The majority of the album was recorded at U Arena in Paris; the tracks "Friends", "Black Effect" and "Salud!" were recorded at Kingslanding Studios West in Los Angeles, while further recording for "Summer" and "Nice" was done at The Church Studios in London, England.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z co-produced all of the songs on the album themselves, with further producers including Pharrell, Cool & Dre, Boi-1da, Jahaan Sweet, David Andrew Sitek, D'Mile, El Michels, Fred Ball, Illmind, MeLo-X, Mike Dean and Nav.
The album was predominantly recorded by Stuart White and Gimel "Young Guru" Keaton.
According to Exclaim! journalist Riley Wallace, "Everything Is Love" is a hip hop album.
Mike Wass from Idolator observed a "trap sound and flashy bravado" on the record while Respect magazine's Jasmine Johnson said it "involves trap with a hint of love."
Alexis Petridis found the music more rooted in hip hop than R&B as did Jogai Bhatt of The Spinoff, who viewed it as a departure from "the sort of contemporary R&B traditionally associated with Beyoncé."
Craig Jenkins from Vulture said the singer played the role of an "R&B heavyweight" doubling as a "formidable rapper" throughout the album, showcasing her talents for vocal belting and complex rap cadences.
The album contains lyrics about the couple's romantic love, lavish lifestyle, media worship, wealth, black pride and fame; themes that were found to be characteristic of the whole record.
Other songs feature the pair singing about their family affairs as well as maintaining their relationship following hardships (i.e. infidelity).
Time magazine's Maura Johnston regarded the album as another "blockbuster duet in R&B and hip-hop"; comparable to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's soul songs from the 1960s and the 1995 Method Man and Mary J. Blige recording "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By"; while incorporating contemporary elements in the form of trap beats, critical references to the NFL and the Grammy Awards, and playing with "public perceptions of the duo's relationship".
Jenkins said it extolled African-American entrepreneurship while presenting Jay-Z as "a doting father and husband, an entrepreneur and altruist with ideas about how everyone else should handle their businesses, a king-tier braggart, and a rap legend".
In its first week, "Everything Is Love" debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, recording 123,000 album-equivalent units, of which 70,000 were pure album sales.
"Everything is Love" was met with rave reviews from critics.
At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 80, based on 22 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Reviewing the album for The New York Times, Joe Coscarelli said it "completes the Knowles-Carter conceptual trilogy"—referring to the previous releases of Lemonade and 4:44—"in an expert, tactical showing of family brand management".
Music critic Nicholas Hautman of Us Weekly wrote: "It's clear from the very first listen that Beyoncé outshines her husband on much of the record, which really should have been marketed as 'Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z' rather than 'Beyoncé and Jay-Z' (or 'the Carters,' in this case). His verses are few and far between in comparison to hers, but it still somehow feels like a balanced body of work from two of the greatest artists of our time."
In The Guardian, Petridis believed the album retreads braggadocio centering around the duo's wealth and excellence, with less musical daring, but still does so with likeable music, genuine wit, and energy.
As per The Daily Telegraph music critic Neil McCormick pointed: "Everything Is Love certainly doesn’t have the musical expansiveness of Lemonade. There are neither ballads nor bangers, and not much in the way of melodic song construction at all. Rather, these are snappily repetitive beats on which the stars can put across their message as a form of hip hop conversation."
For Variety, Jim Aswad described it as "solid and generally satisfying, but not the best from either."
Will Hodgkinson of The Times reviewed track-by-track, stated: "Jay-Z is as dynamic as ever and the new, though Beyoncé demands attention on this surprise album, [...] despite the ups and downs detailed on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Jay-Z's subsequent mea culpa 4:44. Instead they are coming out fighting, with all that fame and money making them defensive, even paranoid, while a mix of classic soul, hard-hitting hip-hop and slinky R&B."
Pitchfork contributor Briana Younger wrote that the album "is a compromise between the spoils of Lemonade's war and the fruits of 4:44's labor. Jay and Bey extend an invitation to join their very public vow-renewal victory lap because we now know what it costs to get here and how expensive having it all can be. It may not be collective liberation (and why should it be?), but it is theirs. When Beyoncé declares, 'We came and we saw and we conquered it all' on playful closer 'LOVEHAPPY,' it's her final exhale, her reclamation of her throne of love pulled straight from the tongue of colonizers. Within this complex, messy and beautifully black display, the Carters find absolution."
On June 6, 2018, Beyoncé and Jay-Z embarked on the joint "On the Run II Tour", a sequel to their 2014 "On the Run Tour."
At the end of their second show at London Stadium in London on June 16, 2018, Beyoncé announced to the crowd that the duo had a surprise before leaving the stage.
Then, the music video for "Apeshit" played on the LED video screen onstage. Following the conclusion of the video, the words "ALBUM OUT NOW" came across the screen.
"Everything Is Love" was subsequently released exclusively via Jay-Z's streaming service Tidal and all audience members received a free six-month trial subscription in order to be able to stream the album.
The album was also made available for purchase on Tidal's online music store. The release was announced worldwide on the Beyoncé and Jay-Z's respective social media accounts with the artist of the album being monikered as the Carters.
On the same day, the music video for the album's second track and lead single "Apeshit" was released on Beyoncé's official YouTube channel. It was directed by Ricky Saiz and filmed at the Louvre in Paris.