Destiny's Child

Destiny Fulfilled (Sony Urban Music/Columbia)

Guess Beyonce Knowles is a nicer person than Justin Timberlake. After all, his promises to reunite with his old group, 'N Sync, went down the pipes once his solo career took off, while Ms. K actually kept her pledge to get together with her homegirls again, even after 2003's Dangerously in Love established her as a star in her own right. If only the results of her return were more compelling. Destiny Fulfilled, the first new Destiny's Child disc in three years, is pleasant but nondescript -- a collection of filler in search of an album.

The first cut, "Lose My Breath," is as good as the CD gets; the track, helmed by Rodney Jerkins, uses a marching-band drum groove and piercing synths to catchy effect. Unfortunately, "Soldier," co-starring T.I. and Lil Wayne, is an utterly failed attempt to sound street, and undistinguished compositions such as "Bad Habit" are less interesting for the contributions of Knowles's cohorts, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. For instance, they add tenderly crooned harmonies to the last word of the "Free" line "If I don't, I might scream," when a passionate shriek would have been much more compelling.

Justin, it seems, had the right idea.

 
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