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POP MUSIC | Record Rack

They Are Women, Not Quite Roaring

* * DESTINY'S CHILD, "Survivor," Columbia

April 29, 2001|NATALIE NICHOLS

All you ladies, women and girls know it, and superstar R&B trio Destiny's Child is back to tell it straight-up: Being an independent female ain't easy in this man's, man's, man's world. Whether you're famous or not, somebody's always vexing you with unwanted attention ('Fancy"), setting a bad example ('Nasty Girl") or just plain violating you ('The Story of Beauty") without remorse.

At least you can count on the girlfriend chorus of Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle to prop you up with such anthems as the hyperkinetic title track and the "Charlie's Angels" movie theme, "Independent Women Part I." Unfortunately, the singers' maturity and conviction don't entirely hide a lack of vocal power on this follow-up to "The Writing's on the Wall" (due in stores Tuesday), although the generic hip-hop music box of ticking percussion, pulsing bass and uninspiring samples barely allows them a moment to breathe, let alone stretch out, anyway.

Still, they harmonize prettily enough on the acoustic-flavored remake of Samantha Sang's Bee Gees-penned 1977 hit "Emotion," and they do offer a range of independent-woman moods, from the dance-floor-prowling "Sexy Daddy" to the true-love ballad "Brown Eyes." Indeed, despite the limitations of talent and material, Destiny's Child will no doubt soon be going multi-platinum once again. Which, perhaps, is what really makes the group a "Survivor."

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless noted otherwise.

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