(The Root) — First things first: Drop any comparison of Solange to her über-famous sister Beyoncé. The younger Knowles sibling (who’s 26) usually doesn’t gyrate her hips or perform intricately choreographed, J-setting, “Single Ladies”-esque dance moves in music videos. But, for all that she’s not, Solange brings her own kind of talent.
Solange’s new EP, True, features seven tracks of what Pitchfork called “humble but compulsively listenable tunes.” The melodies, complemented with her sometimes breathless vocals, create a breezy, effervescent vibe that often seems like a blatant rebuff of the contemporary pop-R&B genre that her 31-year-old older sister has helped shape. Solange and Devonté Hynes, her co-songwriter and True’s main producer, have concocted a sound that hews closer to late-’80s pop than the ’60s Motown, retro tone of her last album, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams.
True’s lead track, “Losing You” (see its video below, which was filmed in Cape Town, South Africa), shuffles along with understated keyboard chords. It’s leagues away from the predominate urban music sound that’s often reduced to an odd jumble of fist-pumping dance music (thanks, Will.i.am.) and rappers feigning singing cred.
Solange’s True is now available and is a refreshing must-download. Listen to it streaming on Spotify.
Previous recommendation: African Art to Shine at Miami’s Art Basel.
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