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April 6, 2007

Shortcuts—Beyoncé's B'Day [Deluxe Edition]

On September 4, Kodak was registered as a trademark, Japanese forces surrendered during World War II and the Fourth World Conference on Women opened. However, no event takes precedence over the birth of overachiever Beyoncé Giselle Knowles, bringing forth a holiday more festive than the ball-dropping on New Year’s Eve: B’Day.

Tailgating this momentous occasion was the release of a collection of hits with more merit and affluence than any Now That’s What I Call Music! series. So, get out your freakum outfit of choice and prepare for the alpha and omega of all parties. It’s best to pregame to the relaxing sounds of “Déjà vu” while you can before the countdown starts to “Get Me Bodied,” a track that will have you jumpin’ jumpin’ harder than Destiny’s Child (both quartet and trio) ever did.

If you were looking for a chance to cool off, you thought wrong, as the sexy “Suga Mama” and heavy-hitting “Upgrade U” keep the beat racing forward. Maybe after releasing some steam in “Ring the Alarm,” you can take a bathroom break or grab another drink during “Kitty Kat.”

However, once you reach “Freakum Dress,” consider your break officially over, as the tempo spikes and “Green Light” signals you to “Go!”

Maybe you’ll have a chance to sober up during “Irreplaceable,” “Resentment” and “Listen,” but be prepared to end the party on the same note that it started on in the reprise to“Get Me Bodied.”

So, why would Beyoncé decide to rerelease an album as fluid and tight-knit as B’Day? I don’t know either.

From the order of tracks alone, the Deluxe Edition of B’Day feels more like a hangover than a party. While the original order of songs had a celebratory feel, this order transforms B’Day into any other day of the year. “Beautiful Liar,” though an interesting ballad, is nothing more than a slight upgrade to Shakira and Wyclef Jean’s “Hips Don’t Lie,” and “Welcome to Hollywood” does little to elaborate or better Jay-Z’s original production. Though the album’s bonus track “World Wide Woman” may give new meaning to the term “www,” its slow character belittles the original liveliness of the album. Even “Still In Love (Kissing You)” sounds more like a B-side to “Dangerously In Love” than a part of the party that once was B’Day.

This rerelease proves that no matter how much you want to extend the party, sometimes it’s best to just go home.