B'Day [Special Edition]

B'Day [Special Edition]

4.4 13
by Beyoncé

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On her aptly titled sophomore disc, Beyoncé parties like it's her B'Day. And with good reason -- the disc's release coincides with the No. 1 stunner's 25th birthday. Admittedly, the festivities got off to a shaky start with the lackluster, '70s-soul-informed "Déjà Vu." But boy, did Queen B set the party back on track with the second single, the artfully angrySee more details below


On her aptly titled sophomore disc, Beyoncé parties like it's her B'Day. And with good reason -- the disc's release coincides with the No. 1 stunner's 25th birthday. Admittedly, the festivities got off to a shaky start with the lackluster, '70s-soul-informed "Déjà Vu." But boy, did Queen B set the party back on track with the second single, the artfully angry "Ring the Alarm" -- a siren sound-off to any girl trying to push up on her man (the rumor mill has it this sonic missive was fired at Jay-Z protégée Rihanna). Unlike Beyoncé's polished-yet-disjointed debut, Dangerously in Love, B'Day, recorded in just two weeks, is a grittier, more cohesive affair. The best tracks are geared for the club: "Crazy in Love" producer Rich Harrison checks in with two more sweaty rump shakers -- "Suga Mama," a juicy slice of back water blues that would make Tina Turner proud, and the bombastic "Freakum Dress" -- and Swizz Beatz turns up the heat with the funky nursery rhyme, "Get Me Bodied" (an extended version closes the disc) and the aforementioned "Ring the Alarm." Even when the tempo slows, you won't find any soaring ballads like "Dangerously in Love" here. Instead, on the military drill-inspired "Irreplaceable," Beyoncé forewarns her lover, "I'll have another you by tomorrow / So don't you ever for a second get to thinkin' you're irreplaceable," and on the doo-woppish "Resentment," Beyoncé sounds as if she's stepped into her heartbroken Dreamgirls character, Deena, as she struggles to forgive her man's cheatin' ways. B'Day may not be the album anticipated by fans who've grown accustomed to Beyoncé as a polite and picture-perfect Destiny's Child, but artistically, this is the refreshingly unhinged album she was destined to make.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
At least one tactic or event preceding the release of Beyoncé's second solo album inspired a bemused three-syllable exclamation from anyone who was paying attention. The lead single, the late-'70s-funk-inspired "Deja Vu," had the audacity to not be as monstrous as "Crazy in Love" -- its stay at the top of the charts was relatively brief, so clearly there was evidence of some drop-off there. This was quickly followed by "Ring the Alarm," an angered, atonal, and out-of-character song with an accompanying video that invited all kinds of perplexed analysis, along with debate on whether Beyoncé was being autobiographical or, as the singer claimed, channeling her Dreamgirls character. All of this gave the haters plenty of ammo when anything less than 100% polite, ladylike, and expected was bound to do the trick. Add to this an album title that can be pronounced just like "bidet," along with the advertisement that the album's ten songs were whipped up in two weeks, and you have yourself a career-killing train wreck. B'day isn't even close to that. While Beyoncé does sound like she's in a bit of a hurry throughout the album, and there are no songs with the smooth elegance of "Me, Myself and I" or "Be with You," it is lean in a beneficial way, propelled by just as many highlights as the overlong Dangerously in Love. Two collaborations with Rich Harrison swagger and preen: "Been locked up in the house way too long/It's time to get it, 'cause once again he's out doing wrong" (the blaring/marching "Freakum Dress"); "Don't give me no lip, let mama do it all" (the spectacularly layered "Suga Mama"). The Neptunes assist on "Green Light," an ambitious, fleet-footed number that continually switches tempos and sounds, as well as "Kitty Kat," a deceptively sweet, rainbow-colored track -- where what sounds like purrs are more like claws-out dismissals -- that could've been pulled from one of the first three Kelis albums. And even with an entirely bonkers line like "I can do for you what Marvin did for the people," "Upgrade U" is the most potent track on the album, a low-slung Cameron Wallace production where Beyoncé wears and buys the pants while making her proposition sound more like empowerment than emasculation. If the circus surrounding this whole thing -- which could take up to ten pages to document -- was an elaborate ploy to transform Beyoncé into an underdog, there really is some kind of genius at play, but it's extremely unlikely that anyone in her camp could've predicted that the expectations and reactions would be less rational than any of Beyoncé's decisions and actions. There is nothing desperate or weak about this album. [A deluxe, bonus track edition was issued in 2007.]
New York Times - Jon Pareles
With an album as premeditated and as nutty as “B’Day,” Beyoncé now qualifies as a full-fledged diva.
Entertainment Weekly - Jody Rosen
On her second solo album, B'Day, the songs arrive in huge gusts of rhythm and emotion, with Beyoncé's voice rippling over clattery beats; you'd have to search far and wide...to find a vocalist who sings with more sheer force. [B+]

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Product Details

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Related Subjects


Disc 1

  1. Beautiful Liar  -  Beyoncé
  2. Irreplaceable  -  Beyoncé
  3. Green Light  -  Beyoncé
  4. Kitty Kat  -  Beyoncé
  5. Welcome to Hollywood  -  Beyoncé
  6. Upgrade U  -  Beyoncé
  7. Flaws and All  -  Beyoncé
  8. World Wide Woman  -  Beyoncé
  9. Get Me Bodied  -  Beyoncé
  10. If  -  Beyoncé
  11. Freakum Dress  -  Beyoncé
  12. Suga Mama  -  Beyoncé
  13. Deja Vu  -  Beyoncé
  14. Ring the Alarm  -  Beyoncé
  15. Resentment  -  Beyoncé
  16. Listen  -  Beyoncé

Disc 2

  1. Amor Gitano  -  Beyoncé
  2. Listen  -  Beyoncé
  3. Irreplaceable  -  Beyoncé
  4. Beautiful Liar  -  Beyoncé
  5. Beautiful Liar  -  Beyoncé
  6. Beautiful Liar  -  Sasha
  7. Irreplaceable  -  Beyoncé

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Beyoncé   Primary Artist
Bruce Dukov   Violin,Concert Master
Robert Becker   Viola
Denyse Buffum   Viola
Larry Corbett   Cello
Nathan East   Bass
Alan Grunfeld   Violin
Ricky Lawson   Drums
Harvey Mason   Percussion
Rudy Pérez   Keyboards,Background Vocals,Vocal Director
Haim Shtrum   Violin
John Wittenberg   Violin
Ken Yerke   Violin
Suzie Katayama   Cello
Jay-Z   Rap
Tim Carmon   Keyboards
Aureo Baqueiro   Vocal Director
Espen Lind   Guitar
Sara Parkins   Violin
Roberto Cani   Violin
Eric D. Jackson   Guitar
Clay Perry   Keyboards
Andrew Duckles   Viola
Judith Mora Arriaga   Accordion
Candice Nelson   Musician
Michele Richards   Violin
Ronald Judge   Horn
Allen "Al Geez" Arthur   Horn
Aaron "Goody" Goode   Horn
Hanna Khoury   Violin,Viola
Boujemaa Razgui   Nay
James "JJ" Johnson   Bass
Mario de León   Violin
Jasmin Cruz   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Craig Armstrong   String Arrangements
Sean Carter   Composer
Scott Cutler   Composer
Nellee Hooper   Producer
Rudy Pérez   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Vocal Producer
Solange   Composer
Andy Todd   Engineer
Rodney Jerkins   Composer
S. Smith   Producer
Ian Dench   Composer
Clarence Reid   Composer
Jay-Z   Composer
Erwin Gorostiza   Art Direction
Tom Coyne   Mastering
Jim Abbiss   Engineer
Mauricio Guerrero   Vocal Engineer
Jim Caruana   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Gustavo Celis   Engineer
Anne Preven   Composer
Pharrell Williams   Composer
Stargate   Audio Production
Shawn Carter   Composer
LaShawn Daniels   Composer
Amanda Ghost   Composer
Beyoncé Knowles   Producer,Executive Producer,Vocal Producer
Neptunes   Audio Production
Mathew Knowles   Executive Producer
Swizz Beatz   Audio Production
Willie Clarke   Composer
Andres Bermudez   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Rich Harrison   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Clay Perry   Programming,Engineer,Digital Editing
Vlado Meller   Mastering
Denaun Porter   Programming
Shane "Bermy" Woodley   Engineer
Reyli Barba   Composer
Chris Spilfogel   Engineer
Jamie Rosenberg   Engineer
Fusako Chubachi   Art Direction
Henry Krieger   Composer
Angela Beyince   Composer
Robert "LB" Dorsey   Engineer
Sean Garrett   Composer,Producer
Aaron Renner   Engineer
Candice Nelson   Producer
Delisha Thomas   Composer
Kareem Roustom   Violin Arrangement
Ne-Yo   Producer
Olgui Chirino   Vocal Producer
Mikkel Storleer Eriksen   Composer,Instrumentation
Cameron Wallace   Producer
Geoff Rice   Engineer
Roberto Almodovar   Engineer
John Roustom   Digital Editing
Keli Nicole Price   Composer
Tor Erik Hermansen   Composer
John Weston   Engineer

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