Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Big Ups Beyonce!

600,000. Insiders projected that Beyonce Knowles sophomore disc B'Day would rack up about 600,000 copies sold in its first week. Upon hearing this I thought that was absurd and insanely high. Boy was I wrong. B'day is the number one album in stores this week, selling 541,000 copies. Go on B! [though she might, no will be relinquishing the throne to Mr. Timberlake next week.]And you know what, she deserves all the sales and the praise cause this disc is fire.

2 weeks. Few producers. Her little secret. 10 tracks of pure adrenaline. Clearing her throat and letting it all hang out Beyonce steps up to the plate threading together a set of songs that take her from woman in love to a woman scorned, leaving plenty of room for all that comes in between.

Deja Vu pulls us in with Beyonce taking attendance: Bass...Hi-Hat...808, and of course Jay, leading to an explosion of vintage/soulful instrumentation. The girl is still Crazy in Love and the high she feels is all so familiar, as do the horns, the grit, and intensity that shines through as Beyonce shouts the word go before letting it fall into the chorus, 'I can't get over you/cause everything I see is you/and I don't want no substitues/Baby I swear it's Deja Vu'. This leads into one of the many Swizz Beatz produced tracks, Suga Mama. Beyonce stretches her voice to rightfully accompany a beat composed of hand claps, whistles, shouts, and an 808 bounce.

It's an upbeat, finger snapping ass shaking affair that is present for the duration of the album. The Curtis Mayfield/Aretha Franklin channeling of Suga Mama, to the Amerie 1 Thing vibe of Freakum Dress [sure to become part of many a girl's vernacular in the weeks to come] and the 'this the last time you gon get a taste of this jelly' mellow groove provided by the Neptunes on Kitty Kat. Beyonce is wearing many hats here, never skipping a beat. But it ain't all good times. Ring the alarm presents B like we;ve never seen here before, consumed in anger letting all hell break lose to the sound of slamming bass and drums and the ringing of sirens.

It's a wrenching affair that is revisited at the end of the album with Resentment, a subtle and emotionally vocal affair that once again channels Aretha Franklin. Her suspicions have multiplied and she feels she's been done wrong. Eventually as the song draws to a close and the background singers drop out and the beat coasts along beautifully, Beyonce loses the chorus and simply sings to herself, "I've been riding with you for six years, why did I deserve to be treated this way by you? I know you probably thinking what's up with B? I've been crying for too long..."Squash that shit B.Cut him loose. We ain't got time for all that drama on this B'day.

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