Destiny Fulfilled

Studio Album by released in 2004

Destiny Fulfilled review

Some thought it would never happen, but after solo successes and a three-year hiatus the ladies of Destiny's Child have reunited for the eagerly-anticipated Destiny Fulfilled. The Houston-based trio of Kelly, Michelle and Beyonce follow up their mega successful Survivor with another album full of infectious dance grooves and melancholy tales of women done wrong. While it's no surprise that Destiny Fulfilled showcases advanced production values, the songwriting and vocal abilities are just as impressive.

Destiny Fulfilled begins with an invigorating opening salvo of two hard-driving dance cuts, Lose My Breath and Soldier, and then slides into a series of nine slow-grooving tracks. 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, and the nimble Free wins points for being livelier than the rest. They go old-school on the moving If. Michelle, who has several impressive solos throughout, and Beyonce trade lines about finding and holding on to love. However, on Bad Habit the trio goes for the paint-by-numbers woman finding her inner-strength theme. Other highlights include the Beyonce-produced Girl and mid-tempo pop tracks Through With Love and Love.

Destiny's Child have never quite seemed like a true group, possibly because Beyonce 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 Beyonce 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. This is a retreat to Destiny's Child comfortable status quo, where Kelly and Michelle take a backseat, both intentionally and not, to the undeniable star that is Beyonce. She can seduce and shout, she can sound strong and sexy, and she steals every song on Destiny Fulfilled. Kelly and Michelle are sweet, classy vocalists, cooing their leads nicely and providing warm harmonies on the choruses, but they're overpowered by the powerhouse of Beyonce, who sounds larger than life even when she's quiet.

Destiny's Child rose to become one of the most popular female R&B groups of the late '90s, eventually rivaling even TLC in terms of blockbuster commercial success. Destiny's Child were formed in Houston, TX, in 1990, when original members Beyonce Knowles and LaTavia Roberson were just nine years old; the two met at an audition and became friends, and Knowles' father Mathew set about developing an act based on their singing and rapping, taking their name from a passage in the Book of Isaiah. Beyonce’s cousin Kelendria "Kelly" Rowland joined the group in 1992. The quartet's lineup was finalized (for the time being) when LeToya Luckett joined in 1993. Their self-titled debut album was released in early 1998, featuring production by Wyclef Jean and Jermaine Dupri, among others. In 2000 reduced to a trio (with Michelle Williams), Destiny's Child was tapped to record the theme song for the film version of Charlie's Angels; released as a single Independent Women, Pt. 1 raced up the charts and spent an astounding 11 weeks at number one. Destiny's Child were now indisputable superstars, the biggest female R&B group on the scene.