I haven't heard it, but considering all the press it's been getting about being a huge feminist album, it seems very strange to also call it "about monogamy."
I get why it's a "feminist" album, but outside of a couple key tracks (Pretty Hurts, ***Flawless) the album is less explicitly feminist and more of a reflection and discourse of where she's at in her life (a mother, a leader, a wife, a sexual being, a celebrity, etc), which is where much of the feminist power comes from as well. I would argue there are significantly more tracks that deal with her sexual and emotional relations with Jay-Z than about feminism (which are far from mutually exclusive things). A lot of press (mostly negative, to be honest, but I disagree) mentioned that this is the first Beyonce album that is sexually explicit (and in some songs, very much so), which is something she has constantly avoided in her career thus far. But I think what differentiates this from the type of sexual content that is prevalent in most of content by her fellow pop divas (Rihanna, Miley, etc) is that it's sophisticated, nuanced, and clearly about her relationship with Jay-Z. I think it's an incredibly interesting statement to make in a pop culture that has pretty much focused on sexuality as casual, anonymous, and a free for all, especially since Beyonce's album feels, well, sexier than the other pop/R&B superstars records. Not saying one type of sexuality is better than the other.
And for those who have been paying attention, Beyonce singing about monogamy and romantic commitment/sacrifice as one of her core themes is hardly a new trend. But the sexual aspect of those relationships is pretty much new ground for her, and I thought she made a very intimate and sexy record.
There's a handful of really great 2013 releases I discovered sifting through various year-end lists, including:
Jessy Lanza - Pull My Hair Back (fans of Grimes will probably like this a lot)
Ron Morelli - Spit (varied and engaging electronic experimentation, similar to the two Lee Gamble releases from last year)
The Cyclist - Bones in Motion (lo-fi, summery dance music)
V/A: Angola Soundtrack 2 - Hypnosis, Distortions & Other Sonic Innovations 1969-1978
Nice, I'll check those out. I've been listening to a few albums that will end up in my top 50 (100) and I'm so happy I found them. Some I had heard and forgot about and some just slipped through the cracks.
Dean Blunt - The Redeemer (in my top 5 now after forgetting about it all year)
Vakula - You've Never Been to Konotop (Selected Works 2009-2012)
Axel Bowman - Family Vacation
Daniel Avery - Drone Logic (thanks to guedita for the last two)
Violetshaped - Violetshaped
Kelela - CUT 4 ME (must have listened to this once all year and it didn't stick, came back to it and loved it.)
Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Two