Date of release:Buy Digital
Solange owes a lot to her writing and production partner Blood Orange, aka Dev Hynes. Anyone who heard his 2011 record Coastal Grooves will notice the definitive similarities between it and this self-proclaimed mini-album. There’s the synth-crafted handclaps that work with echoing keyboard riffs, vocals that have been reworked to maximum reverb capacity, and the kind of confessional lyricism that singes with its intimate nature.
Standout track Losing You is a near-perfect pop song; heartbreak clenched between syncopated claps and a shrieking sample backing. Solange’s voice is confident, serene, brimming with verisimilitude in every word uttered. It’s refreshing to hear a pop female vocalist who isn’t simpering under whispers and vocal undulations that lead nowhere. The dark Lovers In The Parking Lot speaks volumes of Solange’s range, working her way from the peak of head register down as she laments young love gone awry with lines like “I played around with your heart/Now I’m playing around in the dark”.
True pulses with a languid energy, urging the listener to dance with the mid-tempo pace and jagged guitar riffs on Don’t Let Me Down, or to sway casually to the hushed undertones of Look Good With Trouble. Again, Hynes’ footprints are visible everywhere, in the production quality and mixing. He provides backing vocals throughout, most prominently on Some Things Never Seem To Fucking Work, where his hypnotising spoken word gives added depth to the record as a whole.
Clocking in at under a half hour, the only regret with True is that there isn’t more.
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