#1’sdestiny’s ChildOut nowDo Destiny’s Child really need to bother with another album? Beyoncé Knowles is Rr‘n’B’s undeniable queen, hunted down for her services in fashion,film and as a “gangsta” accessory. With Kelly Rrowland giving her solo career a very decent go, even dabbling in the French hip-hop market with Monsieur Stomy Bugsy (yes him), and Michelle Williams just, well, existing on previously accrued money stacks, it would seem unnecessary and fundamentally egotistical to bring out a Nno.1’s album, wouldn’t it?Nope. Here it is, sixteen tracks, thirteen of which pay homage to over six years of hard graft, and the remainder mix it up with some fresh sounds. The album opens up with one of the three new tracks, an audacious move indeed, but one that ultimately pays off. Stand Up For Love is a touching and uplifting ballad that claims to be the 2005 World Children’s Dday Aanthem. It definitely shows as the lyrics are all too familiar, and if it weren’t loaded with the girls’ powerful and versatile voices the songwriting could well have been lifted from Westlife’s disgraceful Nno.1’s offering. Though the chords are predictable, the vocals certainly aren’t, reaching melodic tones that the Irish boys could only daydream of, and after four and a half minutes, you end up feeling pretty positive about the world. Infectious pop indeed.Second track Independent Women Part 1 bounces off with its shameless Charlie’s Angels plugs, and we’re away on our almost hour-long adventure through the favourites, all songs reaping in the cash in their day, but sticking in our minds to varying extents.However, even the lesser classics have quite a bit to offer.Mid-listings tracks Soldier and Check On It, featuring Lil’ Wayne and Slim Thug respectively, have the sort of slow-paced, bass centred production that the real hard boys like 50 Cent would be proud of. Once they have mixed their guests’ gravelled seduction with Beyoncé and Kelly’s piercing yet overwhelming lead vocals, they are onto a winner without doubt. Say My Name has the staccato, complex beats of its pre-chorus fused with its smooth verses and chorus, using every girl to her full potential, and it’s a good re-acquaintance with a track that marked out a lot of teenage angst-filled years. Of course, Bills, Bills, Bills is an even more popular case of exactly the same phenomenon.The ladies are only human of course, and Girl falls by the wayside, with no remarkable features, and its female independence lyrics lacking conviction, leading to a trundling bore. Emotion has got an unplugged bluesy backing track, but isn’t particularly memorable. However, No, No, No Part 2, which guest vocalist Wyclef Jean is determined to reiterate is a remix, really steps up the funk level, and even sceptical listeners will be tapping their feet.The final two new tracks are very disappointing, and just don’t have anything as distinctive about them, which will worry any die-hard fans for the future. They are far too lethargic, and even reproduce elements of others’ contemporary tracks, not what we’d expect from these three influential girls. However on the whole the 1’s collection is a very successful arrangement of some forgotten classics and more recent winners, and a welcome addition to the Rr‘n’B dabbler’slibrary.ARCHIVE: 4th week MT 2005