When Destiny’s Child stepped onto the scene in 1998, it was a world laced with the beginnings of the “Now That’s What I Call Music!” compact discs, Monica Lewinsky commentary and Furbys.
That year, the trio released their self-titled debut album and as a 5 year old at the time, I think I knew one of the songs barely well enough to annoyingly sing it to my mother after kindergarten.
The most well-known track of the CD — in a time when CDs were still relevant — was “No, No, No,” (Part 1 & 2). I’m pretty sure even as a 5 year old, I recognized the hit was highly repetitive. But, I also had no idea who Wyclef Jean was at the time, so there’s that to consider.
But regardless, the dynamic children of Destiny have come a long way since then. A few albums, some solo endeavors and one long hiatus later, the queens of R&B have returned.
The group’s newest compilation CD is entitled “Love Songs” and is available now, thanks to the power of marketing and consumerism, right in time for Valentine’s Day.
“Love Songs” features previous hits by one of the few “girl power” groups that have stuck around long enough to see their presence in the music industry strengthen.
Front-woman and wife of Jay-Z, Beyoncé, has recently positioned herself as the bonafide mother of America, not only singing at the Inauguration and the Super Bowl, but she also has a HBO documentary and a world tour coming soon. The next logical step for the mother of Blue Ivy was, clearly, to bring back her best friends.
With Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams by her side once again, “Love Songs” features slow hits from the entirety of the girls’ careers, including “Cater 2 U,” “If,” “Emotion” and a track by Rowland titled “Heaven.”
“Love Songs” most notably features a new song, called “Nuclear,” which was produced by Pharrell. “Nuclear” is pure Destiny and radiates a lavish sentiment, reminiscent to the old formula of Destiny tracks. The song, though dominated by Beyoncé, as per usual, is fortified with vocals brilliantly wrapped by Rowland and Williams.
“Love Songs” is essentially a hand-selected mixture of the slowest and sexiest songs from the Destiny’s Child repertoire. Beyoncé has made a name for herself, apart from the girl band, as the queen of “girl-power” anthems, but “Love Songs,” is not anywhere near that.
Cleverly, the compilation is released over a decade after the group’s emergence. As the 1990s were not a time friendly to melodies of slow-jam R&B, today marks a period where Destiny’s Child is free to try again. It’s been eight years since the group has released a new track so anything they put out was going to get press.
Ballad after ballad, “Love Songs” is made up of 14 songs ranging from a vintage sound to those songs you forgot you even knew and it is dominated by melodies and adult-friendly lyrics.
The album, though, is not worth any sort of real hype, sans the initial shot of nostalgia. For fans of the trio, there are already many compilations and “Greatest Hits” albums out –– one that came out four months ago –– which would be a more suitable display of the talents and range of the group.
It’s a semi-lazy album that is more so about the negatives of love than the positives and mostly acts as a promise that the girls are back –– it’s just hard to tell what that means.