With all the excitement buzzing around the rumored Destiny's Child reunion during Beyoncé's Super Bowl Halftime set on Sunday, one could be forgiven for picking up a copy of the iconic girl group's latest compilation album, the imaginatively titled Love Songs. After all, it includes a whole stack of DC's smoothest, silkiest R&B ballads, and it's even got a brand-new single attached, to boot.
But don't do it. Do not buy this record. I know it's bright and shiny and new, and that it's been a while since we got a fresh single from these hometown heartbreakers. But since when, exactly, has Destiny's Child been known for their love songs? You think anybody's going to want to hear "Cater 2 U" at the Super Bowl? Hell no!
The only acceptable reason to buy this album is to hear the new song, "Nuclear." Except guess what -- it's terrible! Even Bon Iver wishes this song was a little less sleepy. I mean, Destiny's Child reunited to give us this? Where's the beat?
The song is completely unnecessary and unwanted, just like the compilation that spawned it. You know what'd make a better compilation? A collection of the best (and funniest) stabs at continued pop relevance by Destiny's orphaned Children... i.e., those who remain unmarried to Jay-Z.
Since it sometimes feels easy to forget all about Kelly, Michelle, whats-her-face and the other one, Rocks Off has gone ahead and taken the liberty of putting together our own compilation of the best post-Destiny tracks from the five pop divas who ain't Beyoncé. It'll cost you the same amount of money (none) as you should be spending on Love Songs, and you'll enjoy it a lot more.
Track 1. LeToya, "Swagger" Let's start off with exactly what Love Songs lacks: "Swagger." After being bounced from Destiny's Child in 2000 following an attempt to secure outside management, LeToya Luckett reinvented herself as "That H-Town Chick," and she boosted her Bayou City bona fides on this 2009 buzz track featuring Texas all-stars Killa Kyleon, Slim Thug and Bun B.
A bouncy hip-hop/R&B song by a Destiny's Child Original, "Swagger" has got just the right energy to bat leadoff on our forbidden comp. Time to keep the party going...
Track 2. Michelle Williams, "We Break the Dawn" LeToya's replacement in Destiny's Child, Michelle Williams, prefers a bit more Euroclub electronica mixed into her R&B than her predecessor. Those two elements rarely mix together more smoothly than on "We Break the Dawn," the lead single from Michelle's 2008 album Unexpected and a distinct departure from her earlier solo work's gospel bent.
It totally worked, as far as we're concerned, but despite some decent promotion, it never cracked the Billboard Hot 100. Fans liked it better overseas, where it charted in the UK and in Hungary, of all places. I'm giving it extra DC bonus points for being written by Solange Knowles, Beyoncé's sis.
Track 3. Kelly Rowland, "Stole" Now that we've got a sweat worked up, it's time to get thoughtful. This 2002 track showed off Kelly's affection for pop-rock balladry, featuring a three-act guilt trip that its writers almost certainly "stole" from Everlast's "What It's Like." Rowland makes it sound sincere, however, proving that the Destiny's gals are more versatile vocalists than they're sometimes given credit for.
Track 4. Anjel, "Moving On" What do you mean, you've never heard of Anjel? Some Destiny's Child completist you are! Anjel was the girl group that LeToya Luckett and LeTavia Roberson rebounded with in 2000 after being dumped by DC. They recorded a hell of a lot of demo tracks with the help of Atlanta boy band Jagged Edge, but disbanded before anything was released when their label folded.
Thank God for the Internet! Anjel's demo tracks leaked forever ago, allowing us all to hear what might have been. "Moving On" seemed like a good choice for this comp because every other Anjel song sounds just fucking like it.
Track 5. Kelly Rowland, "ICE" Kelly Rowland has put out enough singles to release a greatest hits album of her very own, but that hardly means she's in the twilight of her career. Late last year, she released "ICE," a NSFW sex jam featuring a gleefully explicit verse from Lil' Wayne.
Nobody from the Destiny's clan does sweet and smoldering better than Ms. Kelly, and she manages to make lines like "He hates it when I use my hands" sound almost classy. Even if "You're hot as ice" sort of sounds like a lame diss.
Track 6. Michelle Williams, "Heard a Word" After that last song, you better get your ass in church. Whew! Please turn in your hymnals to track number six, a singalong synth-organ jam from Michelle Williams' 2002 gospel debut. Heart to Yours was the biggest-selling gospel album of the year, in fact, and "Heard a Word" was included on the multi-multi-platinum WOW Gospel 2003 compilation. Not that we have to tell you that.
All the Destiny's Child alumni sound their best when they're at their most righteous, and nobody testifies better than Michelle. She's probably God's favorite.
Track 7. LeToya, "Torn" Since we've all the way back to the early days of Michelle's solo career, it's only fair to do the same for her predecessor. "Torn" was the first single of LeToya's 2006 debut, and it was a hit, proving that there was, indeed, life after Destiny.
Track 8. Farrah Franklin, "Get At Me" Well, there was life after Destiny for most of 'em, anyway. Farrah Franklin was only in Destiny's Child for only six months before disappearing forever, but she did make a weak stab at a solo career while Michelle, Kelly and Beyoncé were off becoming global superstars. At some point during a brief period spent signed to Fo-reel Entertainment (which totally sounds for real) in 2002, she recorded the track "Get At Me."
Method Man shows up to do his thing, but Farrah's not making anybody forget Mary J. Blige. I still feel compelled to include this song, however, if only to honor her contributions to looking hot in the "Say My Name" video.
Track 9. LeToya, "She Don't" Speaking of hot videos, check out LeToya! She does her best to channel the spirit of Aaliyah in the video for "She Don't," and Slim Thug doesn't appear to be hatin' it. This was the second single from LeToya's debut. The song didn't come close to matching the success of "Torn," but it really should have. It's good.
Track 10. Kelly Rowland, "Work (Remix)" Who better to slam the door shut on this compilation than the most loyal member of Destiny's Child, Beyoncé's musical enforcer, Kelly Rowland? Plans to release "Work," co-written by Kelly and Scott Storch, as the lead single from her 2007 sophomore album were shelved after bad early buzz. A spanking remix by Freemasons breathed new life into the track, turning it into Jacksons-style funky disco-soul that ended up being a hit everywhere except America.
Shame, too, because lyrics like "Put it in!" and "You got to get it all the way in!" are fun to interpret.
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