Destiny’s Child : Say My Name

Debut album from r&b girlgroup, featuring the Wyclef masterminded 'No No No'...

These are nice girls. Good girls. Four cuties of black leather, white smiles and impeccably relaxed hair. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and their eponymously titled debut album is a journey through how it feels to love until your eyeliner gives you scars. Nothing out of the ordinary, apart from a fetching and feisty club cut, ?No, No, No?, featuring the dapper Wyclef Jean, that hints at survival for these bootylicious babes beyond the first LP.

It?s a collection rich in gospel-toned melody, where Beyonce Knowles displays her exceptional vocal cartwheeling, and modest with its beats – not a whiff of Timberland or dizzy drum programming around. The opening track, ?Second Nature?, is a soft nugget of smooch and tingle that sets the scene for the next 13, amongst them a Part 1 (which, perplexingly, comes after Part 2) to ?No, No, No? that slows the song down to another slobbering ballad. There?s a gorgeous cover of The Commodores? ?Sail On?, which Beyonce handles with just the right level of sweetness and trembling breath. And the bitter lyrics of ?Tell Me? ride smooth over distant strings and sailing beats.

The LP conforms to the standard girlband set up of babes up front and brawn on production (Jermaine Dupri makes his appearance on the catchy pop-bounce of ?With Me Part 1′ – Part 2 comes later). What does set them apart is a uniquely-exercised hip hop sensibility most obvious in the tendency to interplay other peoples? tunes within their own, such as the Master P-visited ?Illusion? which takes its rhythm track from ?My Mind Playing Tricks On Me? by the Geto Boys.

Diana Evans