Solange – True

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Solange Knowles is Beyoncé Knowles sister, but apparently it’s rude to mention this as she is now an artist her own right, so here, I will deny Beyoncé’s existence.

Solange Knowles, the sister of absolutely no one famous, has been around for ages now. As far back as 2003, at the mere age of 14, she had released an album named Solo Star, featuring an inappropriately provocative front cover, and even containing production from Timbaland and the Neptunes, who are so bloody good at producing that they sometimes even get a ‘featuring’ in the title of the songs they produce! So why then is True, her latest release, being treated as the second coming of Christ? Well, it’s probably because it is genuinely amazing. I would go so far as to say that if, hypothetically, Solange had a more famous older sibling, I would congratulate Solange for how radically different a piece of work she has produced, and how this will most definitely get her out of her sister’s shadow and allow people to see her as an artist creating something very exciting.

The whole EP is strikingly 80’s; whether it’s closer ‘Bad Girls’ with its Tom Cruise in Top Gun guitars, two minute long ‘Looks Good With Trouble’ with its symphony of bleeps and blops and euphoric synths, or ‘Locked in Closets’ with its soulful ‘oooohs’ and creepy bass, it all sounds like a 21st century artist has sung over a series of Eurythmics backing tracks, which is great. Perhaps the best example is lead single ‘Losing You’; its extended synth-laden introduction and Dev Hyne’s simple lyrics about a failing relationship sound truly unique, and the song as a whole is beyond catchy, with hooks in the verse, intro, chorus, outro and Christ knows where else.

Despite the record’s general uniqueness, a present influence that is more than welcome is that of Jessie Ware, with a lot of the guitar sounds and electronic instrumentation layered over the synths showing echoes of Devotion, Ware’s debut album from last year. A good example is the EP’s second track ‘Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work’, which sounds like a less dark version of Ware’s ‘No to Love’. Lyrically this song also serves as the album’s highlight with its calmly delivered aggressive lines; again, if Solange were to have an older sister, I don’t think she would be too proud of her language here, as ‘fucks’ and ‘shits’ are used aplenty.

This EP is described on Wikipedia as Solange’s preparation for her debut album. If said debut album continues this EP’s trend of being really really good, then don’t worry about Haim, or Palma Violets (who I really don’t see as talented in any way anyway) because, with the genius of Dev Hynes backing her, Solange will be 2013’s most relevant artist.

9/10

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