THE COOL(ER) SISTER
JUICE had always known Solange was the more interesting artiste between the two Knowles Sisters. Her sophomore SoL-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams crushed the studio-backed direction her debut took – a complete antithesis to her Lil Romeo-collaborating days. Its sound, owing a lot to today’s vintage veneration, was emblematic to what Solange has been known as now; the queen of blipsters (a horrible portmanteau of ‘black’ and ‘hipster’).
Unfair label aside, that is exactly the kind of niche she needs to reign over in order to make something out of herself, which is exactly what she had done consequently. From covering Dirty Projector’s ‘Stillness in the Move’ on record to perfection, to performing Zero7’s and Bjork’s songs, to her latest EP, True. With the EP, Solange has found a musical soulmate in Dev Hynes (the artiste formerly known as Lightspeed Champion) and his penchant for referencing late ‘80s pop, most evident in his current incarnation as Blood Orange and continued here on this record.
First single ‘Losing You’ sets the perfect template for the rest of the album. Sparse and synthy Afropop sound off of a (probably) cheap drum machine, general musings of loss love and longing sung with cool melancholy, and a voice that is reminiscent of a un-coked up Diana Ross. While the subject matter is broader and less autobiographical than its predecessor, it’s surprising how oddly specific Solange can be. On ‘Some Things never Seem to F*cking Work’, she alluded to an incident at Jimmy Johns with her ex without making the song seeming to personal to be relatable. And this is something of a running theme on True; conversational girl problems.
Pop music is becoming too much of a homogenous framework, Solange’s skewed take on pop is quite the panacea to the increasing banality of radio and MTV. She might not have as good of a vocal chops as her elder sister, but then again how many great music acts had the best voices?
LISTEN TO: ‘Losing You’, ‘Some Things Never Seem to F*cking Work’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Blood Orange