When Destiny’s Child decided to part ways back in 2005 few believed it would be the last time we would see the unit perform or record together. Over the space of 8 years Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams sold enough records, 50 million in total, to take the title of best-selling girl group in history – a title that, considering the current standard of girl groups on the market today, will remain firmly in their corner.
Though Beyoncé and Co’s (let’s not kid ourselves now – Destiny’s Child was always all about Beyoncé) debut self-titled release was released way back in 1998 and came with the catchy R&B semi-hit No, No, No, it wasn’t until the groups sophomore effort, The Writings On The Wall, that things really took off for Destiny’s Child. Songs like Bills, Bill’s Bills, Jumpin’, Jumpin’ and Bug A Boo catapulted the group into the international mainstream and spawned the trios signature smash Say My Name, a song that became one of the defining musical moments of the nineties.
The bands follow up, Survivor, continued their reign of success with singles like the album’s title track, the infectious Bootylicious and Independent Women. But it wasn’t all about the up-tempo songs as the group refused to be pigeon holed.
During the groups hiatus the trio have all focused on solo projects. Beyoncé has become one of the biggest music stars in history, selling over 75 million albums as a solo artist, earned herself 16 Grammy Awards and featured in numerous films. Kelly’s effort as a solo star has also paid off over the last few years. Solo efforts with David Guetta (When Love Takes Over and Commander) and a season as a judge on the X Factor have helped Rowland remain in the spotlight as well as at the forefront of the dance-pop genre. Michelle has been less of a solo force with the singer releasing a couple of moderately successful solo records, appearing in a number of TV projects and putting her efforts into the world of musicals, appearing as Roxie Hart in Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre.
Over their time the trio produced a series of gorgeously sweet and sentimental ballads that put Destiny’s Child’s artistic diversity into the limelight and as the girls have recently announced a comeback, 8 years after calling time on their chart domination, it’s those love songs that we are reminded of as the group’s latest compilation takes us on a journey through some of the trio’s finer balladic moments.
Now with the reunion of all three forces they have offered a track listing of some of their best ballads from their time together.
The collection is made up of 14 tracks; 11 tracks spanning the groups 4 studio albums, a remix, a solo track and the group’s latest brand new single. Each of the records get a nod from the groups 98’ self-titled debut right through to their last studio effort, Destiny Fulfilled.
The remix, a reworking of the groups signature hit Say My Name, is a worthy addition to the track listing. Though the original radio edit of the song could hardly be thrown into the category of ‘ballad’ the remix of the single is stripped back, mellow and slick and a nice touch to the track listing of Love Songs’ – even if Timbaland has made the version sound like an Aaliyah song for the most part.
Nuclear a synth-heavy and early nineties reminiscent slow-jam is the group’s first single release since 2006’s Stand Up For Love from a previous hits compilation. The track has an inviting rhythm and is driven by a stunning, breathy vocal arrangement. It certainly finds its place within the Destiny’s Child catalogue with ease.
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There is one surprise on the album and that is the inclusion of a solo song. The bigger surprise is that the solo song is not one of Beyoncé’s but one of Kelly’s. Heaven was a song featured on Kelly’s 2002 solo debut album Simply Deep. This is an odd choice given the star attraction; Beyoncé has so many ballad notables that could have easily taken its place.
The only downfall to this release is its lack of new material. For a collection celebrating such a phenomenal career, the inclusion of a few new pennings would have been really nice for fans. Instead they have offered just a single new track – the rest of the track listing being songs that fans will already own as they were featured on the groups previous records. This also takes away the appeal to pay the full album price essentially for a single track on iTunes, particularly as the physical product appears to be vanishing from the high street at a rapid pace these days. Taking that into account we wonder just how well the new collection is going to do in a time where the demand for a top priced CD with a mere single token newbie is less than appealing.
All in all Love Songs is a nice collection of ballads from one of music’s most celebrated and successful acts and a record that puts some of their best work into the limelight. Perhaps this record will pave the way for a collection of the trio’s most cherished up-tempo hits. We certainly hope so – though we would prefer more than just the one new track on that release if they do.
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.