| ||Full Review||Ratings (148)
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|0.0 || | November 14th 12|
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 percent 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 Martin 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.
|0.0 ||Alex Richmond | August 7th 12|
Should I judge her on the quality of her music or her personality? Both are insulting to the human race.
|3.0 good||Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF | October 3rd 06|
Beyoncé joined a growing number of popstars to declare their work a "masterpiece" twenty minutes after recording it, joining the likes of Justin Timberlake and Brandon Flowers in a club I don't really want to go to.
Ms. Knowles decided to cut short her musical hiatus and record the album after finishing her role as an abused singer in 'Dreamgirls,' adding that she felt the need to express what she felt her character should have. Supposedly written and recorded in 2 weeks, B'Day is the product of her suffering.
First off, it's not no masterpiece, no. Secondly, it's not too bad either. Beyoncé got hold of the best producers around: Rodney Jackson, Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz and co-wrote nine songs (plus a Victoria Beckham cover). Swizz Beatz's contribution is immense: his beats make 'Ring The Alarm' one of the best singles of recent times, while the shouted blues 'Get Me Bodied' is another highlight.
Jay-Z guests on two tracks: lead single 'Déja Vu' and 'Upgrade U.' Neither song lives up to Jay's legacy (the former would have been better had he been given more time), but the real disappointment here is Pharrell, whose contributions 'Kitty Kat' and 'Green Light' would register as low points on any album, let alone a pretty good one.
B'Day is no masterpiece, but it's more fun than you can have without risking personal injury.
|3.0 good||Liz | June 3rd 16|
|4.0 excellent||ekdahl | May 15th 16|
|3.0 good||DIMS | December 4th 15|
|3.0 good||NLD | June 4th 15|
|3.0 good||Ewgads | April 19th 15|
|3.0 good||Minaja | March 21st 15|
|2.5 average||Nolan | February 26th 15|
|4.0 excellent||Krimea | December 24th 14|
|4.0 excellent||Antony | December 19th 14|
|2.5 average||Conor | September 3rd 14|
|1.5 very poor||Jackus | July 22nd 14|
|4.5 superb||miyo | May 4th 14|
|2.5 average||Pndi | January 28th 14|
|3.0 good||Deviant STAFF | January 8th 14|
|4.0 excellent||bosslady | December 15th 13|
|4.0 excellent||Caelum | December 13th 13|
|3.5 great||Syiman | December 1st 13|
|3.0 good||Julia | September 10th 13|
|4.0 excellent||TheMrs | July 23rd 13|
|2.5 average||TK | June 3rd 13|
|4.0 excellent||declanl | April 2nd 13|
|4.0 excellent||Kibj411 | March 22nd 13|
|4.0 excellent||arcane | December 25th 12|
|3.5 great||Jiraiya | November 15th 12|
|3.0 good||Julia | December 27th 11|
|4.0 excellent||AMGuide | November 3rd 10|
|3.0 good||kojpl | September 30th 09|
|4.0 excellent||latifah | April 20th 09|
|3.0 good||BSX | November 4th 08|
|2.5 average||Keelan H. EMERITUS | October 13th 08|
|2.0 poor||Zac | February 28th 08|
|2.0 poor||JTV | August 24th 07|
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