And The Survivor Is...

A somewhat-jarring combination of brazen pop, sentimental ballads and gospel music.

There's an interesting story behind "Survivor", the title track of the new Destiny's Child album - it was apparently penned in response to a comparison made by a radio DJ between the hit series "Survivor" and the frequently-changing makeup of the group. Wonder who's laughing now, though - the single has sold millions worldwide, with the album hitting top ten charts within a few weeks of its release.

In addition to "Survivor", most of the tracks on the album are about empowerment and girl power - witness the lyrics of "Independent Woman Part 1", the sensual undertones of "Bootylicious" and the sexual innuendo in "Sexy Daddy" and "Apple Pie A La Mode", all of which carry the message that women have as much - if not more - power than men in the new world order.

This message, however, goes for a six when you encounter tracks like "My Heart Still Beats", "Emotion" and "Dangerously In Love", sentimental ballads which seem a little out of place in this bastion of feminism, followed by the even more puzzling inclusion of a gospel medley at the end of the album.

Lyrically, most of the tracks are stronger than ever before, and the production leaves little to be desired. While all the cuts showcase the group's vocal prowess, and their increasing comfort with the fusion of rap, pop, and R&B, this combination of styles can be a little jarring...or (if your glass is always half-full) just the thing to keep you on your toes.

This article was first published on 20 Jun 2001.