Michelle Williams is best known as one third of Destiny's Child, but on her debut solo album, she wants you to know her as God's child.
Heart to Yours, due April 16, is an inspirational gospel record about building a relationship with God, according to Mathew Knowles, who manages Destiny's Child and Williams. "Destiny's Child are inspirational, but this is nothing like Destiny's Child," he said. "It's totally different. As is Beyoncé's solo album."
Knowles said the theme of Williams' album is best summed up by the chorus to the first single, "Heard a Word": "I heard a word/ Saying you'll be fine/ I heard a word that would ease my troubled mind/ Took all the hurt away/ Warmed me up inside like a summer day/ So glad you'd never break your promises."
Williams co-wrote the song and four others on the album, including the title track and "Better Place," which was inspired by September 11. Produced by Damon Elliott (Destiny's Child, Pink), "Better Place" is an emotional tribute to those who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks.
"I know it's hard to keep a smile on your face/ And nobody could ever take their place," Williams sings. "Every mother, every sister, brother/ Every child that's gone/ I know they're smiling, looking down on your face/ In a better place I hear them say/ Can't nobody hurt me/ Can't nobody fade me/ I'm resting in a better place."
Williams' younger brother, Erron Williams, produced some of the tracks, as did Warren Campbell (Sisqó, Angie Stone) and gospel producer HR Crump.
Destiny's Child appear together on "Gospel Medley," which also appeared on their Survivor (2001). Other guests include Carl Thomas on "Heaven," Men of Standard's Isaac Carree and Lowell C. Pye on "You Care for Me," Mary Mary on "So Glad," and Shirley Caesar on "Steal Away to Jesus."
On the same day Heart to Yours hits stores, Destiny's Child will release their autobiography, "Soul Survivors."
Williams is the first Destiny's Child member to release a solo album, though Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland will follow suit later this year and early next, respectively (see "Independent Women Of Destiny's Child Coordinate Solo Projects").
Their solo albums will only help the group, Beyoncé said earlier this week. "When we come back together, it's gonna be stronger than it was because doing things by yourself, it forces you to grow, and I know when we come back, the music that we come up with is gonna be so incredible."
Meanwhile, Destiny's Child released This Is the Remix on Tuesday (see "Destiny's Child Mix It Up With Remix Album").
Heart to Yours track listing, according to Mathew Knowles:
- "Heart to Yours"
- "Heard a Word"
- "So Glad" f/ Mary Mary
- "Sun Will Shine Again"
- "Better Place"
- "Change the World"
- "You Care for Me" f/ Isaac Carree and Lowell C. Pye of Men of Standard
- "Steal Away to Jesus" f/ Shirley Caesar
- "Rock With Me"
- "Gospel Medley" f/ Destiny's Child
- "Heaven" f/ Carl Thomas