Maybe Beyoncé slayed hubby Jay-Z by serenading him with lyrics about boys “up top from the BK” who know how to “flip that money three ways,” but the ’hood approved- “Soldier” was definitely not what Destiny’s Child were going for when they regrouped to drop a compilation album, Love Songs, out Tuesday (January 29).
Culling from four DC albums, the trio went for a softer sound, making 14 selections that may surprise fans that know the group only for their massive chart-crushers. Whether you’re a Destiny’s devotee with fingers crossed for a halftime reunion this Sunday or just a nostalgic fan, we’ve turned the spotlight on a few key tracks.
“Cater 2 U”
AOL-era Destiny’s songs like “Bills, Bills, Bills” and “Bug A Boo” saw Beyoncé, Kelly and LeToya and Latavia reading their “trifling, good-for-nothing” dudes for offenses ranging from bad credit to thirsty email etiquette (“you already had my inbox full”). But by the time 2005’s “Cater 2 U” made it to radio, six years had slipped by and the quartet had become a trio … singing a decidedly different tune.
Our fellow DC die-hard, Buzzworthy’s Tamar Anitai, recently offered herself up as an “expert” for any panels convened to discuss this track (#deepcutz, as she tagged it), and MTV News pop writer Jocelyn Vena confessed it was one of her fave Destiny’s Child songs of all time. But that kind of, um, emotion, should come as a surprise to no one who’s heard the hair-raising harmonies on this 2001 cover of the Bee Gees’ and Samantha Sang’s disco ditty. We’re especially fond of the triptych style that director Francis Lawrence used to tell triple story lines in the accompanying video. (Bey, we see you in the jean skirt and side ponytail!)
Few DC songs show off Michelle Williams’ raspy alto like this countrified kiss-off from their 2004 farewell disc, Destiny Fulfilled. “If you think I caught a feeling when I heard about that other chick/ I already knew about it,” the Rockford, Illinois native sings. Tossing the lines off with neck-rolling nonchalance, Michelle’s soulful sass perfectly complements the Queen Bey’s ad-libs on this Rockwilder production. The trio’s doo-wop harmonies also get a boost from a classic sample: Music nerds can connect the dots by listening to Natalie Cole’s “Inseparable”; the Grammy-winning title track from her 1975 album is sampled to sublime effect here.
The girl group’s newest release had stans (and our newsroom) fiercely divided when it was quietly delivered to the Internet late one Friday earlier this month. Those saying “no, no, no” called it too mid-tempo, underwhelming even, for an act that built its catalog on power anthems like “Survivor.” But supporters fell hard for the drum-heavy Pharrell production, which finds the Virginia native paying homage to his mentor, ’90s R&B titan and New Jack Swing pioneer Teddy Riley.
And when Williams stopped by MTV News last week, she giddily relived how the trio cut the song: “The harmonies and just us stacking [vocals] … Beyoncé laid hers first, then I’d go and lay another note to the bottom, and I’m like, ’Wow, this is dope.’ I literally got goose bumps. [After hearing it,] Beyoncé sent an email like, ’Man, we sound good together!’ I’m like, ’Duh, that’s what we do, boo! That’s what we do!’ ”
What’s your favorite track from DC’s album, Love Songs? Tell us in the comments!