Solange returns with True, a 7-track EP which I must say continues the fine work she started with her last album 2008’s Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. Working with Devonte Hynes, Solange delivers what I’ve described to friends as “new wave boogie topped with the right amount of electronic, brought together by that good r&b.” Which works for me. I can, however, see how easy it is for some critics to dismiss her doing all of the above as an identity crisis. But I strongly disagree.
In my opinion Solange is a self-realized artist trying to navigate the waters of an industry enslaved by trends. An industry that doesn’t do much to invest in most things outside of what’s hot and trending on Twitter. Solange, I believe has found her lane and is simply growing her sound. She’s doing what feels right to her and getting it out to be heard, which reminds me in some ways of Betty Davis, the unsung 1st lady of funk and ex-wife of the great Miles Davis. In the 70’s, Betty went into the studio putting out three really good albums, admittedly taking a lot more chances than Solange in this instance, but nonetheless fearlessly exploring and producing what felt right to her.
One way to truly appreciate what Solange does is to avoid the easy comparisons to her sister. Two very different countries, with very distinct cultures would be one way to look at it. Both co-existing and justifiably appealing to they’re respective audiences.
Delving deeper into my description above, the music on True ranges from easy, danceable pop to keyboard-laden, new wave-y r&b (“Losing You” and “Some Things Never Seem to Work”) rounded out by mellow, laid-out joints (“Bad Girls” and “Looks Good With Trouble”).
Aside from the fact that this is just a 7-song EP, there are really no down sides here. It’s good time music written to the sound of heartbreak and everyday affairs, which makes it even more relatable, accessible even.
Good stuff, hope we get a full album soon.
- Enyi Emesih