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Do You Know is Michelle Williams' second studio album that was released on January 26, 2004 by Columbia Records.

TracklistingEdit

  1. Purpose In Your Storm
  2. Never Be The Same
  3. Love Thang (featuring Dawkins & Dawkins)
  4. Do You Know
  5. The Incident
  6. My Only Love Is You
  7. 15 Minutes
  8. No One Like You
  9. The Way Of Love
  10. It's Good To Be Here
  11. Didn't Know
  12. The Movement
  13. Have You Ever
  14. Amazing Love

Album BackgroundEdit

After becoming the first member of Destiny's Child to release a solo album in 2002, Michelle Williams did not wait long to start work on its follow-up in 2003.

Due to the success of "Heart to Yours" which topped the US Top Gospel Albums and became the best-selling gospel album of 2002, anticipation was high for her second album.

Before taking over the lead role in the Broadway musical "Aida" on November 18, 2003, Williams began working on her album, involving an even greater variety of producers than she did for her debut album such as trio PAJAM, made up of Paul Allen, J. Moss and Walter Kearney, duo Dawkins & Dawkins, Tommy Sims, bandmate Beyoncé Knowles, her sister Solange Knowles, and Williams' brother Erron Williams.

As with her debut album, Williams contributed greatly to the songwriting of the album, co-writing a total of six tracks on the album.

Prior to the album's release, Williams told MTV that she couldn't "wait for the world to hear [her] new solo album", describing it as "fresher", "more inspirational", and "more on the secular side". Furthermore, she stated "whether it's gospel or not, I wrote about it", therefore expecting "some of her gospel fans to be a little upset" but wanted to "keep it real". She also discussed one of the album's primary themes – "what it's like to be in love" – explaining "[I talk about] mistakes you make when you're in love and how they affect your life" after saying "I was able to experience some things this year and I wrote about them."

In describing the album during an interview for GospelCity, Williams said: "These songs are just about the real me" and that "she just wrote from [her] heart" before acknowledging that "it didn't turn out to be as 'gospel-ly' as some would have liked", but "the stuff" that's on the album is "stuff that [she] went through."

Williams then said, "This whole album is about God's love and me."

After being asked: "Michelle, as people listen to the album, Do You Know, as they get acquainted with the songs, what are you hoping to bring to their lives?" Williams responded: "That everybody live in peace and not settle for anything less than what the Lord wants to bring your way. I know what I went through. I know God is taking me to another level. I had people around me that were not going where I was going. I had to release them from my life."

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Do You Know" peaked at #120 on the Billboard 200, #28 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, #3 on Billboard's Christian Albums chart and #2 on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart.

Critical ReceptionEdit

The critical reviews of "Do You Know" were generally favorable.

Kwaku of Cross Rhythms wrote that "Michelle seems happy to produce music which straddles between contemporary gospel and inspirational R&B" and thus "she certainly isn’t going to have problems facing the congregation when she attends church".

Sony of Gospel City described the album as a "beautifully written [...] very wonderfully produced gospel album that in some places is a throwback to a Duke Ellington jazz minuet, in others it's a fast paced hip-hop laced gospel after-party, and in others it's a beautiful testimony of a woman at the well."

He then went on to comment that "the true highlight of this album is Michelle's unique, yet beautiful, timbre and her magnificent song writing."

Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian however gave a more mixed review, commenting that Do You Know? "doesn't provide the running start" that Williams "needs". She then noted that "Williams's strength is a shimmery jazz lilt.

Emily Sogn of PopMatters likened Williams' "pleasingly slow paced" singing style to pop contemporaries like Ashanti and Janet Jackson and described the album as "a decent, yet not spectacular sophomore effort", noting that "while it might not enough to ensure her a successful career outside of her contributions to Destiny's Child, it isn’t without its particular merits and shining moments".

People magazine commented that "there is a contemporary R&B sound" to the album "that wouldn't be out of place on secular radio" and noted that "The Movement" "has a hip-hop vibe, while glossy ballads like "The Way of Love" sound like they could be Destiny's Child slow jams".

Entertainment Weekly editor Chris Willman rated the album B- and highlighted the artistic growth on the album.

Comparing it to its predecessor, he wrote: "This second solo foray into contemporary spirituals vastly improves upon her godforsaken 2002 debut" and that "both the beats and girlish chops feel more seasoned, even if she'll always be more R&B minimalist than the gospel powerhouse she aspires to be".

AllMusic wrote that "working with a wide array of producers [...] Williams is subtly more up-tempo than on her debut." The staff found that the songs "all point to an artist with a considerable amount of self-assurance. Not surprisingly, Williams is never far from the roots that extend back to her day job in Destiny's Child."

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