Artist: BeyonceTitle: B’DayRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Eb Haynes
Beyonce Knowles, street alias “B”, has emerged into a limitless talent, poised to approach any challenge with grace while possessing an almost surreal foresight for revolutionary creativity. The curvaceous B has conquered the hearts and minds of lusciously proportioned women, adoring male fans and aspiring superstars in training. Beyonce can also add to her indelible resume the bullet points credible actress, designer, award winning song writer, Grammy veteran and fragrance star. Regardless of monumental success, barely 25-years old, one paranoia looms; sophomore jinx. Relax Suga Mama, confidence and growth are always sexy.
Bs second studio album B’Day (Sony/Columbia) fronted by Rodney Jerkins’ pure instrumental single, “Deja Vu” was met with disdain. Apparently, 6,000 on-line, unhappy fans petitioned for the siren(es) to re-shoot her visually fresh, couture motivated music video. Fans scoffed behind the sweaty, sexual energy shared with Jay-Z. Undaunted, director Sophie Muller’s dramatic depiction of a woman scorned, introduced the world to a vulnerably unhinged, pissed-off Beyonce. The emotionally, high-powered Swizz Beatz track “Ring the Alarm” rose speculations so arresting, while insignificant, over-zealous fans and journalists alike could have easily sullied B’s triumphant B’Day.
“Irreplaceable” a mellow track, is anything but. B, quickly orders her once betrothed: “To the left/To the left/everything you own is to the left.” The once Dangerously In Love veiled diva, ignites into a bonfire of seductive forces throughout B’Day. “Upgrade U” featuring Jay-Z is one for the streets to feel, produced by Cameron Wallace; this track is the finest of the Bonnie and Clyde, Ride or Die series. Flashy, the song is consistent with B’s assertiveness. She’s not just fly, she’s an asset and, she knows it. Rich Harrison lends his brand of modern funk to “Freakum Dress” and “Suga Mama” which is the epitome of the woman wearing and buying $500 stiletto pumps. “Green Light” is a classic Pharrell/Neptunes groove while the seductive “Kitty Katt” warns all restless boys that they too, become restless.
Completely independent, B wanted to express herself as a capable, adult artist. She succeeds without trapping herself inside an over processed, kitschy, I hate men furrow. The lyrics aren’t girlie and neat. The tracks are an unsafe, gullie departure from DIL, which is befitting for the scuttled work. Ladies grab it, it’s yummy. Fellas, learn from it.