Following the recent announcement of their reunion, Destiny’s Child dropped Love Songs, their first album in years, last week. Though all but one of the tracks was selected from previous works, chances are only the diehard fans will recognize many of them. Love Songs is comprised of slower, more romantic tracks than the more upbeat, sassy club songs the group is known for.
This album really does consist of “love songs” — and nothing else. It is full of tracks perfect for a soulful night in with a significant other or for pining over the one who got away — on your couch, sporting sweatpants, with a tissue box nearby. It is, essentially, chock full of baby-making music.
Destiny’s Child, comprised of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, fails to deliver the powerhouse vocals and booty-bumpin’ rhythms that sustained their fame from the late 1990s into the early 2000s. Love Songs is not what you’d expect as a comeback from the fierce trio that released tracks like “Independent Woman Part 1,” “Survivor” and “Jumpin’, Jumpin’.” Many of the songs seem to blend together in a swell of sentimental R&B, including the underwhelming Timbaland remix of famously fierce track “Say My Name,” which is nearly unrecognizable in Love Songs.
The only new song off the album, “Nuclear,” follows the same low-key tone set by the rest of the album. The lyrics are simple and few with just enough chemistry references to make the metaphor complete: words like “bond,” “quantum level” and “energy” are sprinkled throughout. There is little evidence of the vocal maturity each Destiny’s Child member has experienced in their solo careers since the group’s disbandment; it’s almost as if the producer was trying to downplay the individual voices instead of finding a way to harmonize and show them off.
Originally released in 2004 on Destiny Fulfilled, “Cater 2 U” is one of the only unique tracks on Love Songs. It utilizes the unique but complementary voices of Knowles, Williams and Rowland, bringing out luscious, velvety tones. The track stays true to the well-layered production characteristic of Destiny’s Child songs, though its beats will bring you back to the pre-iPod era, when music was still played on Walkmans.
Though Love Songs is an interesting choice for a group trying to return to a scene dominated by younger performers who likely listened to Destiny’s Child growing up, it stands strong as a compilation album. Love Songs does not betray the strong vocal quality or seductive soulfulness characteristic of Destiny’s Child. With the album’s title in mind and expectations aside, it is evident the tracks were carefully selected to uphold a common theme. And though tracks were chosen from different works, the end product surprisingly maintains the flow and continuity a good album should have.
3 out of 5 stars