Beyoncé Dangerously In Love (Columbia/Sony) Rating: NN Rating: NN
Beyoncé Knowles' afro-shaking Work It Out single from last year's Goldmember soundtrack indicated that the pop soul shouter has a raw funk side no one knew about. Just the kind of thing, then, for a solo album, particularly one that would set her apart from the treacle of her Destiny's Child day job. But as the garishly airbrushed cover photo suggests, Dangerously In Love is as smooth as silk and just about as dangerous. On one very important level, it's a case of who your friends are. When Jay-Z slipped in and stole Knowles away from Pharrell Williams, he also cut her off from the Neptunes' beats. Most of Dangerously In Love is impossibly smooth and dreary, with Knowles earning the distinction of being the one vocalist who can suck the life out of a Sean Paul guest spot. That might not be a surprise for Destiny's Child fans, but for those of us who got a peek beyond that, we know the girl can do better.