Saturday, November 05, 2005

Album Review: Destiny's Child - #1's (3.5 / 5)

The Supremes was and always will be the model R&B girl group, having scored an amazing string of hits between 1963 and 1976. During the '90s, R&B girl groups made a comeback; the most notable were En Vogue, TLC, and SWV. But none shined brighter than Destiny's Child, who first appeared with "No, No, No" late in 1997 and racked up their own impressive run of hits (although much shorter than that of The Supremes). Comparisons between the groups are striking. Both experienced a significant amount of member turnover. Both had a clearly favorite member. (The Supremes actually changed their name to "Diana Ross and the Supremes" for two years, a wonder we never had "Beyonce and Destiny's Child.") And both sort of petered out near the end.

Thus, it is fitting that Destiny's Child is calling it quits. While the singles from their second and third albums shine brightly as some of the best Pop/R&B of the last few years, their fourth album was decidely lackluster. "Independent Women, Part 1" will always shine as their best moment, an empowering, tuneful, monumental single. Other top moments are the stompers "Bootylicious," "Lose My Breath," "Bug a Boo," and "Jumpin', Jumpin'." Also good are "Say My Name" and "Bills, Bills, Bills." New track "Stand Up For Love," is also notable, for contributing a traditional melodic ballad to the Destiny's Child cannon.

On the downside, as mentioned above, are the singles from their fourth album, "Soldier," "Girl," and "Cater 2U," which are boring, bland, and trite, respectively. "Cater 2U," a tuneless number about doing things for a man such as "running (his) bathwater" and "putting (his) do rag on," is particularly frightening, especially from a group whose earlier singles espoused empowering female independence. Also troubling is the inclusion of a Beyonce-only track, "Check on It," which is a fine song, but is it really fair for Beyonce, who will likely be the only one to enjoy monumental solo success, to grab even more of her share of the spotlight on a Destiny's Child greatest hits collection? Give Kelly and Michelle a chance! Also, the title isn't quite right--c'mon girls--not every single you released was a #1 hit, despite what your record company flacks might have told you.

On the plus-side, this collection does include all of their Top 40 hits (there's nothing more annoying than a greatest hits collection that leaves off some obviously big hit--big pet peeve of mine), even if they aren't presented in sequential order. Still, the good moments outshine the bad, and this collection is a testament to why, for the last eight years, Destiny's Child ruled radio.

1 comment:

Jacob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.