It's hard to believe that it's been over ten years since Destiny's Child released their first album. I was a teenager at the time, and as a big fan of bubblegum pop, I always enjoyed their music. One of my favorite Destiny's Child songs was “Independent Women;” their music had a sassy, you-go-girl vibe to it (although I'm sure many feminists prefer their empowering anthems to come from artists who aren't so “Bootylicious”). A decade later, not much has changed; I still listen to their music, now with a slight twinge of nostalgia.
And all the women of Destiny's Child have since become “independent.” Founding members LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett left the group early on due to management disputes, and the other members eventually followed suit. Beyoncé Knowles is not the only member to have found success after Destiny's Child; Luckett just released Lady Love, her second solo effort. An R&B/pop fusion, Lady Love's upbeat cuts are infectious and fun. Standout tracks include the Rihanna-soundalike “She Ain't Got...,” the slow jam “Over,” and the funky beats of “After Party” and “Drained.” Lady Love is a radio-friendly record that will be likely enjoyed by pop and R&B lovers.
Some famous friends also provide guest vocals on this album—“Love Rollercoaster” features rapper Mims, “Take Away Love” co-stars British songstress Estelle, and Ludacris guests on “Regret.” I was very curious to see what “Regret” would sound like since Ludacris is not famous for having particularly progressive lyrics, but this is pretty restrained anthem about dumping a no-good boyfriend.
Indeed, this is the predominant theme on the album, with Luckett telling off a litany of lovers for doing her wrong. Some of that old Destiny's Child “Girl Power” vibe comes through on a few of the cuts, like when she chides an ex-boyfriend for spending all her money, I can't help but think of “Bills, Bills, Bills.” This is a rather interesting contrast to “She Ain't Got...” which is extremely catchy but has somewhat desperate lyrics threatening “that ho,” a woman competing for the affections of her partner. (“Does she cook like me? Clean like me? No, she ain't got sh*t on me!”) The “cheating men” theme gets a bit tired—but music is therapeutic, so perhaps this album was a way of working through some frustrations. And hopefully, she didn't really mean it when she sang about chasing “the other woman” with a baseball bat.