Beyoncé

Dangerously in Love (Columbia)

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American Fleadh, featuring Black 47, the Saw Doctors, Hothouse Flowers, and Eileen Ivers Tower City Amphitheater, 351 Canal Road, the Flats 7 p.m. Thursday, June 26, $25-$35, 216-241-5555
On her solo debut, Destiny's Child siren Beyoncé Knowles proves that all her "Independent Woman" sloganeering was more than just R&B hyperbole. Knowles has a songwriting credit on all but 3 of the album's 15 cuts, and she produced a number of tracks herself. Perhaps this is why the album feels much more like a natural transition from teen-pop pinup to dance-floor diva than the recent efforts from Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, who simply equated maturity with sex, as if baring more flesh would get them taken more seriously. In fact, the opposite has happened.

Beyoncé makes no such missteps, though her album is just as salacious. Opener "Crazy in Love" is already the song of the summer, a sweaty disco anthem with triumphant horns and beats. "Naughty Girl" is radio Viagra, with a breathy Beyoncé moaning not-so-sweet nothings over muted flute and wah-wah guitar. Even better is "Speechless," a tawdry torch song meant for the bedroom. Of course, Beyoncé still has some growing up to do -- the second half of Love often succumbs to rote R&B -- but this album should keep her around long enough to do just that.

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