Beyoncé Knowles

On her solo debut, Destiny’s Child siren Beyoncé Knowles proves that all her “Independent Woman” sloganeering was more than just R&B hyperbole. Knowles has a songwriting credit on all but three of the album’s fifteen cuts, and she produced a number of tracks herself. Opener “Crazy in Love” is already the song of the summer, a sweaty disco anthem with triumphant horns and beats. “Naughty Girl” is radio Viagra, with a breathy Knowles moaning not-so-sweet nothings over muted flute and wah-wah guitar. Knowles still has some growing up to do — the second half of Love often succumbs to rote R&B — but this album should keep her around long enough to do just that.

Categories: Music