You Make Me Wanna Throw My Pager Out the Window

September 10, 2010

Destiny’s Child
Writing’s on the Wall
(1999)

While Destiny’s first album came out in 1998, it was the group’s sophomore effort that made Beyonce a star. In contrast to their self-titled album’s old-fashioned r n b, Writing’s on the Wall was ground breaking and influenced just about every girl group and female artist for the next five years. Don’t ask me why though; it’s not very good.
Produced by a slew of people including Missy Elliot, She’kspeare, and of course Darkchild, every track is heavy on faux-acoustic guitar arpeggios and Beyonce’s sassy staccato, rapid-fire delivery. The album as a whole is 90% style, 10% substance; most tracks sound the same (“Bills, Bills, Bills,” is “Jumpin’, Jumpin,’” is “Say My Name,”) and almost all portend to be “you go girl” anthems but they really don’t say much. They hit on one phrase that many can relate to but the songs don’t go much beyond that thought.
There are a couple of highlights; the opener “So Good,” while it has the trademark arpeggios, the song feels more complete than most others on the disc. As we all know, Writing led to mega-stardom for Destiny’s Child but it’s a shame a group like Blaque was creating similar music but ended up becoming less popular. Destiny’s music is enjoyable at a club but they are hardly mind blowing and had a limited palate. It’s a mystery to me why people got so hooked on this album in particular. Was it that we needed Spice Girls who could sing? Songs that weren’t written and produced by Babyface? Was it just a right place at the right time type dealy? Maybe we were fascinated with the fact that the group changed members about 5 times during the promotion of this album….In any event, Beyonce is now a living legend and them other chicks are lucky enough to still appear in her videos from time to time.

MEW

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