Destiny's Child

Destiny Fulfilled [2005 Tour Edition CD & DVD]

(CD - Columbia #5179163)

Review by

Destiny's Child have never quite seemed like a true group, possibly because Beyoncé Knowles always took the spotlight in the group's hits and videos. When the group went their separate ways in the wake of the blockbuster success of 2001's Survivor, it was easy to assume that the split was permanent, a suspicion that only grew when Beyoncé became a superstar with her 2003 solo debut, Dangerously in Love. As it turns out, she was reluctant to leave the group behind -- an attachment that might have been telegraphed by the fact that her solo album shared a title with a song from Survivor -- because she reunited with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams for 2004's Destiny Fulfilled. To put it mildly, this is not quite like Diana Ross returning to the Supremes, nor is it like a New Edition reunion; it is not the reunion of a supergroup, nor is it a case of the sum being greater than the parts. This is a retreat to Destiny's Child's comfortable status quo, where Rowland and Williams take a backseat, both intentionally and not, to the undeniable star that is Beyoncé. She can seduce and shout, she can sound strong and sexy, and she steals every song on Destiny Fulfilled. Not that Rowland and Williams are bad singers. They are sweet, classy vocalists, cooing their leads nicely and providing warm harmonies on the choruses, but they're overpowered by the powerhouse of Beyoncé, who sounds larger than life even when she's quiet. In other words, she still sounds poised to break out of the confines of the trio, and throughout the album it's hard not to wish that it were hers alone, because she would have delivered this fairly generic material with more personality. And the songs are what really keeps Destiny Fulfilled in second gear. After an invigorating opening salvo of two hard-driving dance cuts, "Lose My Breath" and "Soldier," the album slides into a series of nine slow-grooving tracks that eventually all blend together. Throughout it all, the harmonies sound good, and a few cuts stand out -- "Is She the Reason" glides by on a sexy Melba Moore sample, the nimble "Free" wins points for being livelier than the rest -- but as a whole, the album winds up sounding too reserved and heavy-handed, which makes it a disappointment not only compared to what the group has done before, but also to what the girls have achieved outside the group. [This release of the album contains bonus material.]

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:02 Spotify
2 5:25
3 4:07 SpotifyAmazon
4 4:40 Spotify
5 4:47 Spotify
6 3:44 Spotify
7 3:54 Spotify
4:15 Spotify
9 4:51 Spotify
10 3:35 Spotify
11 4:32 SpotifyAmazon
12 6:35 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick