True

Solange’s new EP, True, steeps itself in the spacious slink and thin, cavernous percussion of 80s funk and pop. Solange is Beyonce’s sister, so she has been trying hard to carve out her own chunk of musical territory, which is difficult since her sister happens to possess one of the best known voices in the free world (in comparison, Solange’s vocals are a bit less brassy and a bit less imperialistic, though she might just be emphasizing the softer registers as another way to set herself apart).  Solange’s last album, from four years ago, was a weak attempt at a sort of classic Motown sound.  For True, she teamed up with Devonte Hynes, who has been releasing music under various names for several years.  Hynes’ most recent album, Coastal Grooves, came out in 2010; it was unimpressive.  But Hynes and Solange seem to play especially well together.  “Bad Girls” is little more than a handful of descending synth notes, hammering drums, and pleasing vocal embellishments.  The bass carries the day on this one, both articulating the song’s progression and slamming home its meaning. Most of True follows a similarly effective format (as does this, which Hynes also worked on, though it’s not shooting for the R&B feel in the same fashion).

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