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Friday, June 17, 2011

Destiny's Child - Independent Women

Before Beyoncé Knowles became an unstoppable hairforce unto herself - or perhaps while she was on her way there - Destiny's Child had a clutch of successes with their irritatingly spot-on vocal delivery and perfectly pitched-yet-strangely-reserved sexuality.

Some time around the third album, team Destiny came up with this killer pop track, driven not so much by its "slammin' beat", but actually by a huge basket full of vocal hooks, which didn't rely on the hystrionics so evident in modern RnB.

The production (kudos to Beyoncé Knowles, Sam Barnes, Jean-Claude Olivier and Cory Rooney) rightly saves any vocal improvisations only for weak musical moments - the bridge is a low point in the song to be over-critical.

But be honest now: Can you truly resist lip-synching that opening word:"Question..."? Or even being a backup singer later on in the prechorus and chorus ("I bought it!", "Throw your hands up at me!")

By the time the link ("The shoes on my feet...") arrives in the song you're sold. It's strange but true to assert that the actual chorus hardly matters in this one, because the entire track is basically a neverending series of utterly singable melodic lines, which the understated beat does well to colour by being almost by-the-way.

Despite a video that looks a bit random due to the Charlie's Angels movie attachment, it's an object lesson in how to put together a dance tune with credibility. And if, by chance,  you've ever heard Elbow's skiffle version, you'll agree that a great pop song's acid test is to be overhauled in a completely different style... and still work.In this case... Oh yes. Oh yes indeed. Winner.

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