Full of scorn, rage and sadness Beyonce’s “Best Thing You Never Had” was probably the best breakup song in the last few years. However, it’s Solange Knowles who has made an album that truly captures the conflicting feelings that sometimes accompany a break up.
Solange Knowles’ music is nothing like her older sister Beyonce’s. You won’t find any big Beyonce-style vocals or slick poppy beats on Solange’s new EP “True”. In fact, Solange seems to have purposefully shied away from the cookie-cutter sounds and over-production that you’d typically find in most pop and R&B music. Instead she opts for breathy vocals and challenging multi-layered beats.
True is a wonderful followup to Solange’s last album, “Soul Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams,” and allows her to finally find her musical groove. Each of the EP’s seven songs fades nicely to the next, making it an enjoyable single-sitting listening experience. Her vocals are breezy and flirty with just a hint of soul. The EP has a solid sound, blending funk and pop with old-school Afro-beats. What’s so interesting about “True” is that it’s full of sad songs that don’t actually sound sad. Even while her songs are about heartbreak, they’re upbeat and high energy.
Solange’s lyrics tackle the highs and lows of a love-gone-sour. In “Lovers in the Parking Lot,” she blames herself for “playing around with” her lover’s heart. But in “Losing You” she shifts the blame to her lover, saying she gave him everything and “now there’s nothing left for me.” In “Some Things Never Seem to F— Work” she decides maybe they were never really in love in the first place. Her songs seemingly conflicting messages perfectly illustrate the post-breakup state.
With its eclectic sound and high-tempo, “Losing You” is the standout hit of the EP. It’s a refreshing mix of ’80s pop and dancey R&B and electronic house music. Much like the rest of the EP, the track is delightfully retro while still sounding current and fresh.
The Verdict: If you like soul tinged pop or dance music, True will definitely be up your alley. It’s the perfect high energy EP if you need a break from cookie-cutter R&B ballads and want to try something more eclectic.
Release Date: October 24, 2012
Label: Terrible Records
Collaborators: Devonté Hyne