Single Review: Destiny’s Child “Girl”

Girl
Album: Destiny Fulfilled
Year: 2005

In “Girl,” Beyonce and Michelle Williams are helping Rowland come to terms about her cheating boyfriend.

Beyonce takes Rowland aside and asks her to sit down with her and Michelle. She’s noticed Rowland’s been looking down lately. (“Take a minute girl, come sit down/and tell us what’s been happening/In your face I can see the pain”). Beyonce is stopping Rowland before she can unconvicingly say that she’s in a wonderful relationship. She and Michelle have seen Rowland upset as long as she has been going out with her boyfriend. (“don’t you try to convince us that you’re happy/we’ve seen this all before”). Beyonce tells her that she’s being used. All of three of them have been close for too long to see one of them end up in an emotionally damaging relationship. (“But he’s taking advantage of your passion/because we’ve come too far/for you to feel alone/you don’t let him walk over your heart/I’m tellling you”).

In the chorus, Beyonce urges Rowland to not be afraid to cry or say that everything is not ok. She and Michelle are there for her and love her like a sister. They only want the best for her. (“Girl, I can tell you’ve been crying/and you needing somebody to talk to/Girl, I can tell he’s been lying/and pretending that he’s faithful and he loves you/Girl, you don’t have to be hiding/don’t you be ashamed to say he hurt you/I’m your girl, you’re my girl, we’re your girls/want to know that we love you”).

Rowland is in denial about her boyfriend’s behavior and defends her relationship with him. According to her, her boyfriend sees her as necessary in his life. His job is causing him to act like a jerk. He gets mean when he’s tired and he apologizes to her later for it. She admits she can’t handle his emotional abuse and doesn’t have the strength to leave him yet. (“See what you all don’t know about him/Is I can’t let him go because he needs me/It ain’t really him, it’s stress from his job/and I ain’t making it easy/I know you see him bugging on me sometimes/But I know he be tired, he don’t mean it/It gets hard sometimes/But I need my man”).

Williams tells Rowland to get real and stop blaming herself. Rowland was never depressed with her other boyfriends and has changed since dating the current one (“Girl, take a good look at yourself/He got you going through hell/we ain’t never seen you down like this/what do you mean you don’t need us to help?/we’ve known each other too well”). Williams’ lyrics sound heavily edited and chopped up (as usual). “Too long” would’ve fit better instead of “too well.”

“Girl” hints at abusive relationships without addressing it specifically. Beyonce is featured promimently, making the “we your girls” line dubious without including Williams. Rowland is confident and defensive in her part. But the hurried pace drags Rowland down as she tries to adjust her vocals. Willliams fares the best. She’s sympathetic and natural, despite her screeching at the end. Meanwhile, Rowland and Beyonce have forgotten that snapping and head-bobbing cannot be seen by the listeners.

It’s an average effort and much better than “Cater 2 U.” However, Destiny’s Child aren’t into their own music anymore and it shows.

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