Beyoncé

Dangerously in Love (Columbia)

Phases and Stages

Beyoncé

Dangerously in Love (Columbia) Baby girl is looking to get some. The blossoming womanhood of Destiny's Child's 21-year-old alpha female explodes all over her solo debut, Dangerously in Love, much like the Chi-Lites horn sample that cranks up leadoff track/smash summer single "Crazy in Love." Yes, brothers and sisters, she's hot and bothered. The steamy way she coos, "I love the way you scream my name," on "Be With You" leaves little doubt as to her intentions, while the R-rated "Hip Hop Star" finds her getting down in a darkened basement corner. Not that she's turning into Lil' Kim, or even Christina Aguilera: "Yes" is a steely, unsentimental so-long to a suitor who wants to go too far too fast, and "Signs" is a straight-outta-Cosmo rumination on the romantic traits of various zodiac designations. Two years ago, that would've been as far as it went, but now instead of ordering the "Nasty Girl" of DC's Survivor to "put some clothes on," Beyoncé is herself the "Naughty Girl" in a languorous appropriation of Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby." The candle-lit "Speechless" is as erotic as your average Penthouse letter, and velveteen Luther Vandross duet "The Closer I Get to You" will likely wind up a staple of late-night dedication programs like Beat 104.3's Heart Beats. Unfortunately, the rest of Dangerously in Love is only intermittently sexy. In order to keep pace with peers like Mya, whose excellent Moodring explores its author's erogenous zones even more graphically, Miss B needs to quit daydreaming about Jay-Z and get back down to the business of being bootylicious.

**.5

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