For fans who were far too young to know what to do with a baby-making R&B tune when The Writing’s On The Wall came out in 1999 (this writer was 10 and really just wanted to learn all the words to “Bug A Boo”), a compilation album from Destiny’s Child solely comprised of their slower, more adult-friendly ballads could score only so high on the exciting-news-about pop-music-from-childhood scale. This is especially true as the trio’s most memorable tracks recently congregated on the greatest hits release, Playlist: The Very Best of Destiny’s Child, which had “Bills, Bills, Bills”, “Bootylicious”, and “Survivor”. Come on.
While Love Songs doesn’t stand a chance against that record, it’s an agreeable collection of soulful heart songs, most of which highlight the group’s knack for harmony and emotion (see: “Emotion”) — even if they dip into ridiculous melodrama on songs like “Killin’ Time” (which speaks of staring at a wall, waiting for a man), or “T-Shirt” (which hilariously opens “Hey baby, I wish you could see what I have on right now”).
“Nuclear”, the group’s first recording in eight years and the only new track on the album, is a semi-promising glimpse at what could come from a proper full-length in the future. The Pharrell and Beyoncé-produced track is a modern twist on an old formula that sounds as if it didn’t quite make Jessie Ware’s Devotion. Its only real monetary competition here is the sleek album opener from 2004’s Destiny Fufilled, “Cater 2 U”, and the last 30 seconds of Timbaland’s “Say My Name” remix, when the tune of the original finally (though briefly) presents itself.
Love Songs isn’t an essential collection or anything, but fun moments happen to materialize here and there. So, if you spent some time with Beyoncé and Co. in the D.C. days, consider this a shot of nostalgia.
Essential Tracks: “Nuclear”, ”Cater 2 U”