6 Reasons Why I Love Solange
Solange Knowles, the little sister of singing maestro Beyoncé Knowles, is amazing. This is fact. She has not always been amazing, and indeed, has struggled to find a voice and a place in the big bad world of the music industry. However, with the release of her new EP True, Solange has shown that she is in exactly the right place. In celebration of this, I have compiled a list of why I, and you, should love Solange.
1. Solange is in Bring It On: All or Nothing
Despite being the sister of one of the biggest stars on the planet, Solange starred in a terrible sequel in the Bring it On franchise, Bring it On: All or Nothing. Taking a break from her music career after her first album failed to set the charts alight, Solange moved into movies. This low budget, direct-to-video sequel is terrible, however it features this:
2. I Decided
Solange returned to music in 2008 with the totally amazing, and utterly brilliant, “I Decided”. Written by Solange, and produced by Pharrell Williams, the song samples from sixties girl groups, but in a non-synthetic, sixties-by-numbers way (see Stooshe/Duffy/a lot of pop music). The song set Solange apart from her sister, probably for the first time in her professional career. Solange croons over the sparse sixties production with ease, and the departure from Pop-R&B that dominated the chart at the time put Solange ahead of her game. The accompanying video saw Solange through the ages, from the sixties to the future, and it is magnificent.
3. Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams
It took Solange three years to polish off her second album. Work started in 2005, after her divorce and birth of her son, and the move from Columbia Records to Geffen Records. The heavy Motown influence is clear and effective. Acting more as a concept album than anything else, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams follows a pattern and, like the lead single, the album doesn’t feel forced like a lot of Motown throwback can. The album exudes a certain amount of “cool”, something that her sister (up until recently) has struggled to do. There is also a sense that Solange feels the melancholy that lines so much Motown music allowing for some sincerity to the project, which is infectious. Highlights include tracks 2-10.
4. Solange and Vogue
In February, 2012, Solange did a guest feature for Vogue.com. This feature was amazing. It showed what Solange was wearing everyday. Solange has truly cemented herself as one of the best-dressed people in pop. Each outfit is amazing. The hair is amazing. She looks amazing.
5. Losing You
On the 1st October 2012 one of the best songs and videos this year was released. “Losing You”, a melancholic 1980’s influenced pop song, is haunting and beautiful. The song has a relaxed, but sad atmosphere to it, and the production sparkles over Solange’s smooth vocals. The video features Solange dancing in various locations in Langa, Cape Town. The cameos of the Le Sape Society, and Azealia Banks just add to Solange’s nonchalant, and effortless cool. The fashion is spectacular, especially the orange high waisted suit.
Everything about this video and song is perfection.
6. True EP – 3rd Studio Album
This week Solange’s new extended play was released. It is rare that one’s expectations are met, but with True they have been. The EP follows in a similar style of “Losing You”; the production is sparse, with eighties infused beats and synths. But, most poignantly, the songs are lyrically subtle and effective. Each song is tinged with sadness, which is in turn hidden by the production. Credit has to be given to Dev Hynes for the effortless production, but also to Solange for taking the time to create a sample of something brilliant. It is easy for a celebrity, especially a sibling, to follow an easy route, but Solange has broken away from her sister’s shadow and gone underground. The move to an independent label has given her the ability to create something special, which is rare in pop-music. Yes, things can be brilliant, amazing and spectacular, but what Solange has done is create a collection of songs that are special. The brilliant “Lovers in the Parking Lot” is unlike any pop song I have heard this year, whilst “Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work” tips it hat to her previous Motown sound, whilst simultaneously channeling Diana Ross’ “Chain Reaction”. If True is just a taster of what is to come I am very excited!
True – EP is out now on iTunes (GO AND BUY IT)