The marriage rate remains low, but Jay-Z and Beyoncé are doing their best to keep wedlock fashionable. On Everything Is Love, the joint album the couple surprise-released on Saturday, their union again glitters as a luxury item as covetable as their Alaïa boots and Aruba vacations. Even the fact that they nearly broke up comes off as a form of conspicuous consumption. “He went to Jared, I went to J.A.R. out in Paris,” Jay-Z raps. Beyoncé’s reply: “Yeah, you fucked up the first stone, we had to get remarried.” (Adorably, it continues. Jay: “Yo, chill man.” Bey: “We keepin’ it real with these people, right?”)
Everything Is Love represents the long-awaited with-our-powers-combinedcapstone from the megacouple who, in their album credits, call themselves The Carters. After marrying in 2008 amid successful individual careers, Jay-Z and Beyoncé embarked on a 2014 arena tour beset by rumors of Jay-Z’s infidelity that appeared to be confirmed by two separate confessional albums, her Lemonade in 2016 and his 4:44 in 2017. Now, their joint narrative arc—a masterful conflation of art, commerce, and gossip—has culminated in a second arena tour and a surprise full-length album. Its nine songs (plus one non-album single) offer solid summer-fun fodder whose infectious glee comes with moments of throat-tightening emotion—not unlike at a wedding party.