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Good for the teeny-boppers ( but not the true soul fans......)
Survivor - Destiny's Child
Member Name: Joanna Hudson
Survivor - Destiny's Child
Date: 28/06/01, updated on 28/06/01 (172 review reads)
Advantages: Good get up and dance tunes, Beyonce has a wonderful (if slightly OTT) voice
Disadvantages: Cheesy backing, Repetative lyrics, Nothing original
I have been a huge Destiny's Child fan since I first heard Beyonce, Kelly, LaTavia and Letoya'a great debut single 'No, No, No' in 1997.
I soon bought their debut album and it was top of my playlist for a long time. This album showed the group to their best ability. The outstanding thing about this group that put them above all other soul/R & B groups was their harmony. LaTavia has a deep alto voice that gave a great depth to their chorus. It was definately the harmonies the group used that made them so unique. The debut album has a lot of beautiful ballads and mid-tempo songs that makes it sound incredibly mature, especially when you consider the girls were only 16 when they recorded it.
Then came their second album, The Writing's on the Wall, and this album had more up-beat dance-floor fillers, such as the great singles 'Bills,Bills,Bills' and 'Bug-a-Boo'. The use of harmony's again was fantastic but on this album Beyonce Knowles took a lot of the limelight away from the other girls in the group and it was becoming apparent that she was the leader of the group.
It was after this album was released that Latavia and Letoya became unhappy at how the group was being managed (DC are managed by Beyonce's father, Matthew Knowles), and they were thrown out the group.
Replacements were soon found in two girls called Michelle and Farrah. Farrah never really felt as though she fitted in with the others though and she left the group after just a few weeks.
And so came the third album, 'Survivor'. I waited in anticipation for this album to be released, I was looking forward to hear how the group had matured with all the problems they have had.
I will give you a run-down of each song on the album.
1) The album opens with the brilliant and very successful single 'Independent woman Part I'. I am sure most of you are familiar with this song from the fil
m Charlie's Angels, a song about a woman who refuses to be owned by any man.
2) 'Survivor' This is the second single from the album, and again I am sure most of you have heard it many times before. It sounds Ok on first listen, but I find it a bit monotonous. 'Thought I couldn't breath without you, I'm inhalin', thought I couldn't live without you but I'm livin'' etc. seems a bit uninspired and not very imaginative. It is the first time on the album we hear Michelle's voice, it seems a very strong, smooth voice, just a shame we don't get to hear much more of it!!
3) Bootylicious. To me, this is one of the best songs on the album, and is rumoured to be their next single the girls release. It is the only song on the album where Beyonce DOESN'T sing lead, this time it is Kelly who sings lead. Kelly has a very sexy, deep voice that is perfect for this dancey song. The chorus goes 'I don't think you're ready for this jelly', you'll have to make you're own minds up what it means!
4) Nasty Girl. This is the other song on the album which I think stands above the others. It is another upbeat song which is warning a girl to 'put some clothes on' Hmmmm.... Maybe they should take a piece of their own advice! Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems a bit contradictory to one minute be saying 'put some clothes on girl, you look like a tart' then to appear in their video's wearing nothing but hotpants and a bra!! Nether the less, this is a great song, with a great Tarzan Boy sample.
5) Fancy. This is a very monotonous song that gets on my nerves. It is very repetative and doesn't really go anywhere.
6) Apple Pie A La Mode. This is one of the only songs on the album which I consider to be R&B. Although the other songs are good, there is no getting away from the fact that their music has lost it's R&B edge and has turned inst
ead into a housey souley poppy mixture. This song reminds me of En Vogue in the early days. The first song to really use harmony to good effect.
7) Sexy Daddy. Another pop/house song that doesn't really live up to DC's previous albums, not much harmony, boring tune. Ok to dance to but not really anything special.
8) Perfect Man. I had already heard this track on the soundtrack to 'Romeo Must Die'. It's a good song, with some good harmonious backing, and a clicky, Timberland-esque drum beat.
9) Independent Woman Part II. This is a good track, I actually prefer it to the original Independent Woman. It has a comical, cartoon-like backing and again the backing sounds like something Missy Elliot or Timberland would produce. More harmony than the original version.
10) Happy face. This song lives up to it's name. It is a joyfull tune with some lovely lyrics and a light backing.
11) Dance With Me. This is a complete rip-off of Kelis. The keyboards sound identical to the ones used in Kelis's album Kelidascope. Not very original.
12) My Heart Still Beats. One thing I hated about The Writing's on the Wall were the mushy ballads that came one after another towards the end of the album. Unfortunately they rear their ugly head again, this being the first of a clump of four such songs. The only notable thing about this song is that on the album cover it describes this song as 'featuring Beyonce'! I don't see how you can be featured in an album when it is your band who is singing!
13) Emotion. Michelle takes some solo singing in this song, lovely voice, shame it's on such a poor song.
14) Brown Eyes. This song is so unbeleivably naff. The backing sounds like something Jason Donavon would have been performing to in the late 80's. Terrible!
15) Dangerously in Love. This is slightly better than the other ballads. It has a skippy beat and more ha
rmonising by the girls.
16) The Story of Beauty. This could be a really powerful song. It tells the story of a girl who is being abused by her stepfather. The lyrics are beautiful and emotional, but the backing is just too naff. It has far too many 80's keyboard sounds. It is a real shame because it has such strong lyrics.
17) Gospal Medley. DC did a gospal medley in TWOTW, they are sung acapello and show off the girls voices beautifully.
18) Outro. Lots of praising God and thanking Mom and Dad.
All in all, this album is good, but I feel disappointed that it is so lacking in real soul and harmony. I definately feel that the group has lost it's edge, and although I continue to listen to their music, their previous two albums will be played a lot more than this one.
If you are looking for pop-soul then I would definately recommend this album, as it is far above all the other groups out there at the moment (such as Dream). However, if you are looking for soulful R&B then I would suggest you get either of their previous two albums.
This album is more Britney Spears than En Vogue.