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Destiny's Child offers up rose-tinted reunion album

If you were expecting to hear new material — or even beloved classics — on Destiny’s Child’s 2013 compilation album, Love Songs, you will be sorely disappointed. This reunion album is released under the Destiny’s Child brand — an unstable group, but one that is most often remembered as the trio of Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams — and is essentially a recycling of old, mostly lesser-known tunes, with just one new track.

The album includes a number of songs from the group’s previous full-length album, Destiny Fulfilled, including the opening track of the compilation, “Cater 2 U.” The definitive Destiny’s Child song is a powerful album opener, but it is severely lacking as one of the “love songs” upon which the compilation is supposedly centered. It’s more playful than grave, almost implying the album is not meant to be taken too seriously.

Shockingly, “Cater 2 U” turns out to be one of the few recognizable tracks making it onto the album. “Say My Name,” the once popular hit that comes up later in this album, is not the familiar original but rather the Timbaland Remix, which is slow and lackluster — almost unrecognizable as one of the group’s key standards.

The highlight of the album is, unsurprisingly, the lone new track, “Nuclear,” which is the last and the liveliest on the album. Its melody is hardly as defining as past hits like “Survivor” or “Lose My Breath,” but it’s at least something new that fans can cling to.

As a whole, it’s unfortunate that the compilation does not include the group’s more beloved chart-topping singles. The title of the album suggests that the series of “love songs” addresses current, past and future relationships, but I wonder if the album is less about a series of love songs than about the excitement of a reunion and a shared love of Destiny’s Child itself. In “Nuclear” the trio of voices croon, “We share a bond they can’t restrict/That can’t be touched.” These love songs may not represent the sound of Destiny’s Child we know and love, but they likely offer up a part of Destiny’s Child that the group wants us to remember.