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B'Day [Special Edition]

B'Day [Special Edition]

5.0 4
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 angry


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.

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. [Only seven months after the album was originally released, Columbia put together a two-disc deluxe edition, adding five largely inconsequential songs to the album proper, while resequencing the track list and tacking on a bonus disc that amounts to a Spanish mini-album. The booklet, of course, is overhauled as well, containing some new photos. Those who bought the original release have every right to be irritated.]
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+]

Product Details

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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
Rodney Jerkins   Musician
Daniel Smith   Cello
Suzie Katayama   Cello
Jay-Z   Rap
Tim Carmon   Keyboards
Aureo Baqueiro   Vocal Director
Espen Lind   Guitar
Roberto Cani   Violin
Eric D. Jackson   Guitar
Clay Perry   Keyboards
Andrew Duckles   Viola
Naser Mousa   Oud
Judith Mora Arriaga   Accordion
Candice Nelson   Musician
Michele Richards   Violin
Ronald Judge   Horn
James Johnson   Bass
Omar Al Musei   Percussion
Michael Angelo   Background Vocals
Allen "Al Geez" Arthur   Horn
Aaron "Goody" Goode   Horn
Hanna Khoury   Violin,Viola
Paco "El Sevillano"   Chant
Boujemaa Razgui   Nay
Mario de León   Violin
Sarah Parkins   Violin
Jasmin Cruz   Background Vocals
Walter W. Millsap   Musician

Technical Credits

Craig Armstrong   String Arrangements
David Campbell   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Scott Cutler   Composer
Nellee Hooper   Producer
Rudy Pérez   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Vocal Producer
Solange   Composer
Andy Todd   Engineer
Rodney Jerkins   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements
S. Smith   Producer
Ian Dench   Composer
Clarence Reid   Composer
Jay-Z   Composer
Erwin Gorostiza   Art Direction
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
Amanda Ghost   Composer
David Mora-Arriaga   Engineer
Beyoncé Knowles   Producer,Executive Producer,Vocal Producer
Neptunes   Producer,Audio Production
Mathew Knowles   Executive Producer
Swizz Beatz   Audio Production
Mike Tocci   Engineer
Andrew Coleman   Engineer
Willie Clarke   Composer
Andres Bermudez   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Rich Harrison   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Clay Perry   Programming,Engineer
Denaun Porter   Programming
Shane "Bermy" Woodley   Engineer
Tor Erik Hermanson   Instrumentation
Kasseem Dean   Producer
Reyli Barba   Composer
Chris Spilfogel   Engineer
Jamie Rosenberg   Engineer
Fusako Chubachi   Art Direction
Henry Krieger   Composer
Angela Beyince   Composer
Dabling "Hobby Boy" Haward   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
Syence   Producer
Keli Nicole Price   Composer
Tor Erik Hermansen   Composer
John Weston   Engineer
Gimel "Young Guru" Keaton   Engineer
Underdogs   Producer
Walter W. Millsap   Producer,Engineer

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B'Day 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Kristina_G More than 1 year ago
I love this cd. I can listen to it from start to end without skipping songs. She has such a great voice and great beats. Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
beyonce has done it again with her sophmore album. im a fan for life and the album is tight. so get a copy of your own and make sure ya'll go promote her new movie "dream girls" in theatres December 25, 2006. now thats a good christmas present.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a good cd but only 11 songs, that's a teaser. Now she re-released B'Day with six new songs. Artists need to stop doin that because people may not want the same album with more songs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is excellent. I love the fact that B'day has moved away from the 'people pleasing', this is a harder, edgier even darker Beyonce and I love it. My favourite track is 'Suga Mama' a 60's inspired piece of soul that is infectious, Get me bodied, Freekum dress, Check on it, and Green Light are all extremely great anthems for the club, Ring the alarm fires out a stark warning: 'You think you just gonna walk in and take my man? You better think again, Missy!' Go Bee! Irreplaceable is very clever song about a man who thinks you should be grateful to have him and Bee gently tells him that she isn't, then we have Resentment with just rings with pain at the moment that you discover your man is cheating on you. I also love Kitty Kat a sexy piece of something that will have your man purring into your arms also I was surprised and delighted by Upgrade you, Beyonce gives this song a smooth sexy feel that is irrisistable. I tell you, with all the rumours surrounding this album, I was scared. I really thought she made a bad album, I still would have bought it but I would have been disappointed in her. I am here to tell you I am not disappointed. I am speaking as a woman who is extremely fussy about what I listen to in terms of music. Beyonce surprises you, on this album she proves that the days of polite Beyonce have gone, she is moving on both lyrically and musically. She could have stayed 'safe' more ballards like she did on Dangerously in Love, but she shows bravery takes the music forward. Boy! The girl delivers. Buy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok... so i bought the original B'Day album, and absolutely loved it! then on TRL (Total Request Live) Beyonce said that there will be a Deluxe Edition and DVD Anthology with a video for every track. I was so happy to hear this! I just bought the Deluxe Edition "yeah i know now i own 2 B'Day albums, but it was totally worth it." and it is hott! The eleven new tracks that the Deluxe Edition offers are amazing! And FYI: After "Listen" is finished playing, keep listening because there is a hidden track afterwards "which really isnt surprising considering she did the same on the original version.". The only thing that i didnt like was that the DVD Anthology was sold seperately, it would have been better if it came with the CD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to admit, I did not think Beyonce would take this artistic turn for her softmore album. When the singles "Deja Vu" as well as "Ring the Alarm" came out, I was quite perplexed. I was afraid Beyonce was heading for disaster. I got the cd as a birthday gift, and I'm impressed!!! NONE OF THE SONGS ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE OF HER DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE ALBUM!!! Although her solo debut was great, she was still in her comfort zone. With B'Day, she does the unpredictable. I agree with those who think she sounds hurried, but that's a minor problem. In songs like "Kitty Kat" and "Freekum Dress", she pushes the sexual envelope. She also a lot more aggressive and gritty. For those who expected Dangerously In Love #2 are not being realistic. Doing the same thing over and over gets boring. Artists(at least the talented ones) have to evolve with their music. And she does so successfully!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Irreplaceable,Get me bodied,and upgrade you are great songs.All could be singles by them selves.Good Job.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The album didn't come out yet,but I know it is going to be great. She always delivers outstanding work, so B'Day Deluxe Edition will be nothing less than great. I can't wait!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not really sure what I expected, but this wasn't really it. Maybe I was expecting some sort of continuation of "Dangerously In Love". Of course Bee had to grow, but to me she regressed. The whole two week thing was very apparent. Even though the album isn't that great, my personally favorites are "Irreplaceable", "Resentment", and even "Ring the Alarm".
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a true Beyonce fan you should know she writes her true feelings in her music. Although she is a quiet as kept type of person, Beyonce has many wonderful talents and also reveals much of herself through her music. I like the first two singles, however the album sounds to me a bit rushed. I really think Beyonce could have done a much better job on her sophmore album than whats presented to the public. Like her boyfriend said in his black album "treat my first like my last and my last like my frist" She should have made sure her next album was a better album than her first. If I were to take a poll with 10 people, 7 out of 10 would prefer her freshman album rather than this one. I am very open minded to change and I embrace her new image. I think its very sexy and sensual. I just don't know how well the ablum will do in sales.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD was disappointing and not as sharp and good as Dangerously In Love...I couldn't wait till the CD dropped and I listened and dropped into the hands of my daughter...I can't get with this CD maybe the next one will be better...Still a fan though
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say that this album is truly an achievement. I have no complaints about the length of the CD. This album is tight from start to finish. Each song is worth radio play and what I'm most proud of is that I'm able to hear Beyonce's growth. This is just not another RnB album. In my opinion, this album deserves a nomination for album of the year. I mean there is some serious vocal strength/power in these songs. I hear more confidence. It sounds like Beyonce is coming into her own and I'm enjoying it. This is a must add for your collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is Great I loved all of it although I had to listen to it like twice before I could actually give it a fair review. Its totally different for her but its a great album. The beats are hot and so are the lyrics. She took a totally different direction from Dangerously in Love but she still did her thing. Why cant she make creatively different album without everyone hating on her?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I do like this CD but Beyonce borrows from a lot of people style (which she thinks is original) because Deja Vu is Teena Maire all day long. Moreover, you can tell she wrote "Upgrade U", "Ring the Alarm", and "Freakum Dress" because they are not as sharp lyrical as the rest of the songs. However not caring for 3 out of 10 songs is still a good thing...so I'll pick this one up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I knew she had talent but didn't purchase her first cd because "Dangerously In Love" didn't do it for me. I was watching her B'day Bash on BET and they played a few clips of this cd and when I heard "Get Me" I had to rush to the store and pick up the cd. This has been in my cd player ever since then.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I copped the CD yesterday and played it non-stop! I love her sense of creativity & ability to transform her music into her own! I love it, especially UPGRADE U, but every song is great to me!!! Thank you, BB!! From a Fan in Southern Cali
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this CD a lot. And who dosen't love Beyonce? My fave song was Irreplacable! The rest were good,too. Beautiful Liar actully reminded me of a Kelly Clarkson song, rock on Beyonce!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
the bad press had me goin, but when i heard it, i cant take it out my car. i believe it has strong female written all over it. some cant handle that. all the songs are catchy and i love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I heard B had a new album dropping I wasn't too excited. I never heard Deja Vu on the radio, but caught a slice of it while shopping in Express. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't impressive either. But when I heard Ring the Alarm I had decided to check it out. B'Day is one of those rare albums that popular artists realese that completely throw away all previous conceptions. Shedding her good girl image and revelling in angst and sexual provoacteur, B proves that she's more relevant than ever. The Neptunes produced song Kitty Kat features Beyonce crying out for some lovin'. It has elements of Kelis, Marvin, and all the soul-singers, yet it's still fresh and original. On the slow jam Irreplacable, B sounds out on love lost and mistakes you shouldn'ta made. It's beautiful but still very funky. Another highlight includes the bizarre Freakum Dress, where Beyonce sings about enticing a stranger 'cos she ain't getting any from her man. All of this is done over the clammering Rich Harrison production. This album is a gem. Definetely a Grammy contender. *Although the songs mentioned are stellar, the entire album is spectacular. And I'm not a Beyonce fan, so that's saying quite a bit. (I may become a Beyonce fan if she continues in this brash, raw style.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is mad HOT. I love the track Upgrade U because behind every good man is a good woman. I can't wait for her tour in 2007.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beyonce has done HER thing with B-Day. I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect on the album after hearing Deja Vu, but I did know that whatever the album had to offer, I had to have it! I heard the single for the 1st time when she performed it at the BET '06 Awards. She looked beautiful, (as usual) and she rocked it. With her man Jay-Z at her side, Beyonce showed the world that she wasn't done yet. The album is ingenius. This girl has taken talent to a whole new level. Open your minds people, R&B is a broad range of music from a broad range of artists and Beyonce has shown me and the world that she is serious about her's and she's here to stay for a long while. I can definitely vibe with her whole woman empowerment movement. This CD makes me want to scream, I AM A WOMAN AND I LOVE BEING ME!!!!!! I feel her on every song. It's different, it's funky, it's inspiring. I feel like with this album she is more comfortable with herself and wants her listeners to feel more comfortable with themselves. "Get Me Bodied" is one of my favorites, of course it's so hard for me to single them out because I love the whole CD, but "Irreplaceble" is a song that everyone should hear, men and women alike. I'm sure that most people can relate to the words of this song or at least know someone who can. What I really love most is that she is coming into her own as a woman on this album, yet she keeps it very classy, not too over the top. I can't wait for the next entry in my Beyonce journal, whether it be with Destiny's Child or just her as a solo artist. She personifies class, beauty and control. Keep doin it B!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album was soooo put together that it is scary..but in a good way. The cd is great from beginning to end.. I love it sooo much. I recommend everyone to get this cd!!!!!!!!!!
devilprincess4 More than 1 year ago
I think this was a great album. It features amazing songs. It will have anyone on the dance floor dancing. ^___^
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love beyonce so much i just this cd of hers for christmas today & it's the best cd ever.I love every song on her cd beyonce is my favorite & i love her music