13 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Destiny’s Child’s debut was released in 1997, contemporary R&B was dominated by solo performers like Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey and Aaliyah. Aside from TLC, the slew of girl groups that had exploded in the early Nineties (En Vogue, SWV) had subsided, and there was a vacancy for the next female R&B superstars. Enter Destiny’s Child. Like much of the era’s R&B, the group’s debut album was deeply linked to hip-hop, and “No, No, No (Parts 1 and 2),” “Bridges,” and “With Me” fit easily alongside contemporaneous hits by Biggie and Jay-Z, while cameos from Wyclef Jean and Mater P strengthen the quartet’s ties to the rap world. No one in the group was older than 16 at the time of the recording, but the original lineup specialized in sultry jams. Songs like “Tell Me” and “Killing Time” give Toni Braxton a run for her money, but it is the beautiful “Second Nature”— built around a sample of “Make Me Say It Again Girl” by the Isley Brothers — that is the album’s most mesmerizing moment.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When Destiny’s Child’s debut was released in 1997, contemporary R&B was dominated by solo performers like Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey and Aaliyah. Aside from TLC, the slew of girl groups that had exploded in the early Nineties (En Vogue, SWV) had subsided, and there was a vacancy for the next female R&B superstars. Enter Destiny’s Child. Like much of the era’s R&B, the group’s debut album was deeply linked to hip-hop, and “No, No, No (Parts 1 and 2),” “Bridges,” and “With Me” fit easily alongside contemporaneous hits by Biggie and Jay-Z, while cameos from Wyclef Jean and Mater P strengthen the quartet’s ties to the rap world. No one in the group was older than 16 at the time of the recording, but the original lineup specialized in sultry jams. Songs like “Tell Me” and “Killing Time” give Toni Braxton a run for her money, but it is the beautiful “Second Nature”— built around a sample of “Make Me Say It Again Girl” by the Isley Brothers — that is the album’s most mesmerizing moment.

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