- Personnel: Beyonc (vocals); Espen Lind (guitar); Allen "Al Geez" Arthur, Ronald Judge, Aaron "Goody" Goode (horns); Jay-Z (rap vocals).
- Audio Mixers: Rich Harrison; Dave Pensado; Jason Goldstein; Dexter Simmons; Beyonc Knowles.
- Recording information: Great Divide Studios, Aspen, CO; Henson Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Lair Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Sony Music Studios, New York, NY; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA.
- Photographer: Max Vadukul.
- Beyonce had little to prove on her second solo outing, B'DAY, having already demonstrated her taste, (solo) vocal prowess, and sparkling star quality on her first post-Destiny's Child release in 2003. Nevertheless, the singer and her crack team of producers and collaborators (R&B's finest, including the Neptunes, Swizz Beats, and Rich Harrison) have come up with a collection that's at least equal to her previous triumphs, and that shows off an almost angry intensity only hinted at on earlier releases.
- The club hit "Deja Vu," with an extended rap from boyfriend/producer Jay-Z, boasts an addictive bass line that contrasts dramatically with Beyonce's emotive upper register. The haunting "Ring the Alarm" is a multilayered melodrama built around a dizzying minor-key hook that relies on Beyonce's vocal dexterity and newfound fire. Despite the appealing bravado of most of the tracks on B-DAY, the most memorable song is the beautiful lovelorn ballad "Irreplaceable," on which a wounded Beyonce protesteth too much about an errant lover's dispensability. Her nuanced and soul-deep performance suggests the tearful hurt lying at the center of all that anger.
Rolling Stone (p.69) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here is endless pleasure in the gliding transitions from Jay-Z's staccato rhymes to Beyonce's own honeyed flow..."
Entertainment Weekly (p.158) - "[T]he songs arrive in huge gusts of rhythm and emotion, with Beyonce's voice rippling over clattery beats..." -- Grade: B+
Q (p.149) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he Nelly-esque 'Get me Bodied', the Neptunes-helmed 'Green Light', with its marvellously cascading chorus, and the super-taut 'Upgrade U' are turbo-charged..."
Q (p.118) - Ranked #72 in Q Magazine's "100 Greatest Albums of 2006."
Vibe (p.138) - "[A] generally exhilarating marriage of pop songcraft and state-of-the-art rhythms."