Friday, February 5, 2010

Destiny Fulfilled

Destiny's Child

This record seems to be misunderstood. In my opinion, it is the most cohesive, honest, and downright beautiful R&B album since The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It might even be better than that. Destiny Fulfilled is simply real life with some of the best girl-group (?) vocals this side of The Supremes. The high point for me is Is She The Reason- so smooth, so classy, but so sad.. listen close, you can hear it in their voices, it’s all in there. Life and all its maladies. It just happens to float by so easily, so effortless. This song has the most amazing lyrics of almost any song and captures a completely outloved sense of longing better than anything:

Is she the reason
You don't call like you use to

Fall thru my hood like you use to
Put it on me hard like you use to do

I feel in my mind what's goin' on

But my heart won't let me go until I know

T-Shirt actually captures some of that vaporous, humid four in the morning lost in/out of time vibe of Tricky’s Pre-Millennium Tension. It sounds like suffocation, like a heat vent on full blast mid-summer, like the dim light of a tv screen flickering in the dark. Cater 2 U is sweet, with Beyoncé singing in her best fast/halfrap style only she can about doo-rags, dessert, and bath water- (what else is there?!). Soldier is one of the few uptempo/hiphop songs on the album that connects Destiny’s Child most to their past work:

If your status ain't hood
I ain't checkin' for them
Better be street if he lookin' at me

I need a soldier

That ain't scared to stand up for me

Known to carry big things

If you know what I mean

Things come to an end with the ultimate slow-jam of Game Over. Pure smoldering. The majority of this album is slow, serious, and I know I can’t stop saying it, but sad. They sound more mature, more adult, tougher/more explicit, yet still soft in all the right places. I remember several times rewinding some of the songs to be sure I was hearing the right lyrics- just too good! I’ve been listening to it for years and every song sounds better and better the more I hear them. I hear they are working on a new album, but if this was the last we ever heard from them I can’t imagine a better way to bow out.

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