It’s been almost 10 years since Destiny’s Child released their last album and there’s yet to be any new girl group to come even close to matching their reign. A few of have tried. Cherish managed to score a hit song in “Do It To It,” but ultimately fizzled amid label trouble. There was also The-Dream-backed, Electrik Red, which released a fantastic debut album that only a few people heard. Rich Harrison’s Rich Girl never had the opportunity to even release their full-length project. A similar fate greeted Missez as well as a few other girl bands – leaving one to wonder if the girl group model had become passé in today’s musical climate.
From my own experience, En Vogue, TLC, SWV, Total, 702 and Xscape were each able to make their presence felt and enjoy success. And even though these acts didn’t match those artists’ success stories, others like Brownstone, Jade, Kut Klose still managed to enjoy modest hits during their brief runs. A special shout out goes to MoKenStef and Kut Klose, whose one-and-half a piece continue to get spins on my iPod.
I have fond memories, but isn’t it a shame the industry isn’t helping provide new ones? For the life of me, I can’t figure out what’s brought on this trend. Did the me-me-me focused millennial generation soil the concept of musical harmony for musical generations? Is it simply easier for labels to mooch off a 360 deal with a solo artist versus a group? Whatever the issue is, it’s a sad time for girl group enthusiasts like me.
However, there may finally be a glimmer of hope thanks to new works from both a veteran R&B trio and my latest girlie obsession.
First, comes the long awaited new album from SWV entitled I Missed Us, set for release on April 10. Speaking to Billboard last year, Coko told the magazine that when it comes to soliciting producers for their first album in 15 years, "Whoever's going to give us some hits, not any mediocre stuff. We're looking for some heat." The group promised fans the “same SWV flavor” only to “kick it up a notch.”
Judging from their first single “Co-Sign” and their album sampler, the ladies have delivered on that promise. Not to mention, the Sisters With Voices have kept theirs intact, only on this new offering we get to experience each sisters’ voice courtesy of a more evenly exchanged number of solos for each. It’s refreshing to see that after years of promises of a reunion, SWV was able to come together and still offer quality music after all this time.
Going by the names Secret, Slander and Privacy, the clearly conceptualized threesome are undoubtedly the children of Vanity and Apollonia 6, and on new their project combine wit, sass and sex appeal over beats that give nods to the sounds of the Prince of yester-decade and the electro-pop seeping through many a speaker today. Here’s to hoping they can do for the girl group what Nicki Minaj did for female rappers.
Two releases alone won’t fix the dearth of girl groups in the marketplace, but it’s certainly a start. With that in mind, people, if you can allow leather shorts, flat tops, and the Lionel Richie (the big mustache, not the man) all find their way back into the public space, the least you could do let me have my girl groups back. Have a heart…and an authorized download.