I think those people who trash B'day are those who were expecting too much too soon. It's time to be patient with Beyonce's career. B'day for Beyonce is what "Control" was for Janet Jackson, to whom Beyonce clearly pays tribute by saying 9-4-8-1 at the beginning of "Get Me Bodied." In Ms. Jackson's case, she was in older brother Michael's shadow. Beyonce, who started a great career with Destiny's Child, for some, is still kind of seen as Jay-Z' "girl" despite her success. Granted, he appears on several tracks, but most of these are sans Jay-Z, which is a good thing. Also, she showed her independence by recording this album without the knowledge of her father, who is also her manager. So, regardless of the number of hits this album may or may not have, this is a landmark recording for her that will get better with age.
On B'day, Miss Knowles shows her feminine strength in Upgrade U when she says, "...Unless your flawless then ya dynasty aint complete without a chief like me/Partner let me upgrade u." And, she's clearly in control on "Suga Mama" saying, "Baby what you want me to buy/My accountant's waiting on the phone/Just the thought of making love to you/Dropping everything that's what I'll do/Whatever I get you putting it on/Now take it off while I watch you perform." In Irreplacable, she says, "And It's my mine name that is on that Jag/So remove your bags let me call you a cab..." and later adds, "You must not know about me/You must not know about me/I can have another you by tomorrow/So don't you ever for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable."
Beyonce is one of the most talented singers this generation has seen. She writes her music. She has a good voice. She can dance AND sing with heels. How manyi current singers can do the same? So, let's get some perspective in her career. B'day is a solid recording that will set the standard for years to come.