Street Sounds: Feel the love with Destiny

This album is exactly what the title says it is – a love song compilation. It’s one that’s done in a smooth and seductive modern R&B ballad style by Destiny’s Child (Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams) who pour sugar on the senses with their interweaving voices.

These are exquisite and narcotic, so this isn’t highway music or for anything resembling movement (or rocking, partying, etc.)

Love Songs is about the down, sultry side of Destiny’s Child, heavy on mood and suggestion.  The material is sourced from the years 1998–2004 with the exception of a new track, Nuclear. This was recorded with Pharrell Williams and is in line with the lush output of the earlier work, but updated with a hint of club/electronic sound.

There are no Bootylicious-type come-ons here or any Survivor grooves either. Love Songs has more of a come-hither approach. The ensemble vocalizing is the strength and attraction, and this collection showcases that.

The interplay of the trio as they play off each other and harmonize beautifully is the clue that Destiny’s Child is a descendant of girl groups like The Supremes and The Ronettes. But they’re also inheritors of the slick ‘80s pop/R&B hybrid production esthetic that resulted in stars like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.

But DC presents a united group front and they have enough electricity between themselves to override the sometimes static songs here. And they don’t indulge in the ridiculous virtuosity of singers like Carey or the sometimes over-the-top mannerisms of Christina Aguilera.

They’ve got soul, slick though it sometimes is.

Fans and other listeners will clue into familiar material like Emotion and Temptation and a remix of Say My Name. Although much of the album features ballads that run on the same current with uniform instrumentations and arrangements, the group character and soulful talent of the trio is a sweet reminder of their sound. Maybe there will be more.

— Dean Gordon-Smith is a Vernon-based musician who reviews new music releases for The Morning Star every Friday in Street Sounds.

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