First Hit #1: November 18, 2000
Independent Woman feels like a response to the criticism of Bills, Bills, Bills. Sure, it’s also a Charlie’s Angels theme song and a kind of girl power anthem that Beyonce Knowles loves to record, but it feels as though it’s very pointedly declaring how Destiny’s Child wants to be seen. They work hard for their money and don’t rely on men to get them what they want. This song is outlying in a very specific, pointed way how the group wants their relationships to be, and is almost distracting in how specific it gets. They want 50/50 in relationships, but they don’t need a man, and they very specifically don’t rely on a man. The implication is that men should not rely on them either, which was the central complaint of the earlier song.
It’s uncomfortably married to Charlie’s Angels, with lyrical nods that feel kind of half-assed and last minute, and it’s otherwise Destiny’s Child by the numbers – chopped up beat and lyrics, and in this case they’re delivering dense lyrics that are difficult to actually accomplish smoothly. Otherwise, Independent Woman feels like a clarification of an earlier hit, rather than one that stands independently itself.