Destiny's Child

Destiny Fulfilled (Columbia)

With the release of 2001's Survivor, Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams proved once and for all that they are the world's best R&B supergroup, a triumvirate of strength, talent and beauty. Three years and a few solo records later, they return with Destiny Fulfilled, an 11-entry diary about the highs and lows of love. The house-y, Rodney Jerkins-conceived "Lose My Breath," with its possessed drums, is an exercise in bootyliciousness making women everywhere shake (like Beyoncé, that is) and men tremble. Surprisingly, the standout singer isn't Beyoncé; it's Kelly, whose supple soprano delivers the most exquisite verse and "oooh" of them all. The rest of the disc is smoother, with sufficient bounce, thumps and knocks to keep the listener enthralled. Take "Soldier," the second single featuring hood laureates T.I. and Lil' Wayne. Titillating snares and a steady, rims-spinning 808 pulse provide the ideal backdrop for the girls' thug-love anthem. But not all is sunny in romance, of course, as proven by "Is She the Reason," a tale of vulnerability and the never-ending battle between the mind and the heart on which Michelle, with her raspy voice, provides the edge. The album culminates with the gospel-tinged "Love," an affirmation about how the day they stopped searching for love was the day they found it. Maybe it's their faith in God that helps them persevere in their quest for love. This quest, however, ends in fulfillment.

 
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