Single Review: Destiny’s Child “Survivor”

Survivor
Year: 2001
Album: Survivor

In an interview from MTV.com, Beyonce Knowles claimed “Survivor” wasn’t directed at the former members of Destiny’s Child. She said it was “inspiration” and that the lyrics could mean anything. By “inspiration,” she means to avoid a libel suit by not using the real reason.

However, LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett opted to sue , claiming the lyric “you thought I couldn’t sell without you/sold 9 million” was aimed at them. The lawsuit was settled in the court, meaning Roberson and Luckett had a legit case.

“Survivor” is a fake and insecure single. In it, Beyonce is the victim and rids herself of any responsibility towards the other group members leaving. However, its telling that it’s co-written by Beyonce and Mathew Knowles also.

“Survivor” opens with theatrical strings and thumping drums. Similar to a soap opera theme, all that is needed is an introduction from Mathew Knowles to make it complete. Instead, a bitter Beyonce proclaims “now that you’re out of my life/I’m so much better.” She continues in a heated, one-sided argument in the first verse, juxtaposing negative things by replying that she is strong, rich, etc.

After facing criticism that Beyonce only sang solos, “Survivor” has the young women taking turns with the verses. Kelly Rowland takes the sarcastic, self-righteous second verse (“I’m wishing you the best/pray that you’re blessed” & “I’m not going to blast you on the radio.”) Michelle Williams and Beyonce chime in with “I’m better than that.” Um, didn’t they just blast them with the first verse? And the second? New member Williams takes the short, New Agey third verse (“If I surround myself with positive things/I’ll gain prosperity.”)

Without the Roberson and Luckett, Destiny’s Child have lost some of their vocal fluidity. The harmonies are choppy and loose. Also, with the new “everybody gets a verse” policy, the individual flaws are apparent. Beyonce is out of breath and rushed in her verses. The focus, however, is still on her. She gets two verses and the most riffs. Rowland’s voice is insubstantial and doesn’t have much range. Williams shows some talent but seems to be trying to keep up with the Knowles.

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One thought on “Single Review: Destiny’s Child “Survivor”

  1. Pingback: Life’s Playlist…..Survivor by Destiny’s Child | Notes from a Southern Kitchen

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