Beyonce’s B-Day

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(Beyonce...on top of her world).

Beyonce Knowles’ second solo effort, B Day hit stores on September 5th. But since her first solo album earned her 6 Grammy’s and the single "Crazy in love" hitting the top spot in the Billboard 200 and also peaked at #1 in Canada and the UK, you would be forgiven for sympathizing with B. "Crazy in love" is a tough act to follow. 

She is not one to be fazed by mountainous tasks, having achieved virtually all her goals in her professional life, from music to acting and to fashion design. She is clearly a woman who does not shy away from hard work. I will start of by saying B'Day is not a bad album, as if I expected less. I feel that Beyonce has finally worked out what her strengths are, and played to them efficiently. She has a more controlled vocal technique, hitting the highs and lows appropriately. 

Her opening number is Deja Vu and features the inevitable appearance from her boo, Jay-Z, who is also working on his comeback album. It is an up-tempo and busy track, which will drive any red blooded creature to shake from the waist down. "Deja Vu" already hit the #1 spot in the UK and #15 in the US. That is not a bad start for the album. "Get me bodied" is a raunchy one, obvious from the title; it's up-tempo with busy drums and experimental vocals. "Kitty Kat" is arguably the track of the album, quite down-tempo though not a ballad; very hypnotic piano and sax playing, Beyonce sounds very comfortable as she delivers her sultry vocals over it. "Upgrade U", with its techno feel is notable for its sample of Betty Wright's "Girls Can't Do What The Guys Do".

Beyonce is quite comparable to Betty Wright in that like Wright; she is brash, self-assertive, highly sexualized but un-slutty at the same time. "Suga Mama" is funky and rocky—Beyonce shows no fear in stretching the boundaries. B'Day offers two intense and heartfelt ballads in "Resentment" and "Irreplaceable".

The album is consistent in that all of the tracks are good and sound like they are from the same CD. But you will struggle to find a killer song that can dominate the charts like "Crazy in love" did for her last album.

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