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Dangerously In Love

Release Date: 06.24.03
Record label: Sony
Genre(s): Rock


Quite the Dilemma
by: john reed

As Destiny’s Child went into solo project overdrive mode last summer (with all three members trying singular movie and music projects), it was surprising when Kelly Rowland, who attracts lesser media attention, scored with possibly the most played song of 2002, on her collaboration with Nelly, “Dilemma,” while Beyonce Knowles’ single, “Work It Out” from the third Austin Powers installment Goldmember, tanked (the song, not the flick). Beyonce (no doubt, stinging a little from her unexpected flop) borrowed a page from Rowland and hooked up (literally) with her own hot hip-hip property Jay Z and they landed a minor hit with “'03 Bonnie & Clyde” (again….no where near as successful as “Dilemma”).

While the fear of another lukewarm reaction may have Beyonce (who is noticeably dropping her surname, ala Janet Jackson in the 90’s) and the suits at Sony nervous enough that the media blitz for her first solo debut has been a tad heavy-handed (the saturation of live appearances, including a SNL and BET Award appearance…not to mention those L'Oreal ads and the fact that Goldmember is now in heavy rotation on cable).

While it may be a bit much, the CD’s debut single “Crazy in Love” is already in Top-10 terrain, due in no small part to the rapping and assistance of her beau Jay-Z. She was also smart enough to pair up with reggae dance hall savior Sean Paul and their collaboration on “Baby Boy” come off as very beguiling with its Caribbean drenched vibes. And, in an unusual move for the Texas native, she takes a bit of a risk with “Naughty Girl,” which sees her dipping into some near belly dancing-like grooves and slightly sampling 70’s disco icon Donna Summer’s “Love To Love You Baby.”

A remake of “The Closer I Get to You” with soul master Luther Vandross is parallel to the move Mariah Carey pulled a decade ago with Vandross when they remade “Endless Love” with the same unfulfilling results.

The odds of Dangerously In Love starting off strong on the charts is fairly inevitable. Whether the forthcoming singles will make is a contender through the year remains to be seen.

Funny that the whispers about Beyonce wanting a solo career have been buzzing around the business for years now (right after the success of Destiny’s breakout single “Say My Name”) and it is apparent she will want to fly solo again and maybe permanently leave Destiny’s Child. But she should think twice, as the beefy accompaniment of Rowland and Michele Williams is missed throughout Dangerously In Love and it is apparent that she does need a lot of partnerships (e.g. Jay Z, Sean Paul, Luther) to help fill the menu that is Beyonce.

So much for that “Independent Woman” theory. 28-Jun-2003 6:17 PM