Solange Knowles doesn't stand up to her sis
Solange Knowles combines a '70s feel with pop beats.
Sep. 04, 2008
Despite their sisterly bond, Solange is no Beyonce.
There is not a single song on Solange presents Sol-Angel and The Hadley St. Dreams that will ever compare to "Crazy in Love." On the whole, little sis' album could be worse, but its '70s feel is boring and overworked and its barely-there song breaks make the album feel like one long listen.
First single "I Decided" is attacked by hand claps, its endless clapping overshadowing the lyrics to create what could easily be elevator music or a song playing in the grocery store late at night. The powers that be picked the right title for the song, because the only lyrics that really stick out are the words "I decided," and "baby" - only because they are repeated over and over.
After just listening to the single, it seems the only reason the younger Knowles sister made this album is because that's what her family does.
"An Ode to Marvin" is full of "ooh"s and "ah"s. Come to think of it, most of the songs are. But the song does have some bongos, which is a nice change of pace, along with a more musical feel than the remainder of the album can boast. It's one of the better songs on Hadley St. - whoever Marvin is, he should be honored that the song was written for him.
The title of "Cosmic Journey" holds lots of promise. Who doesn't want to go on a cosmic journey? It's too bad the song is horrible.
With lyrics like, "I wanna go high, so high," it was certainly cosmic. Let's face it - the mixture of techno and '70s music is a huge, huge mistake.
"Sandcastle Disco" is the album's sole listenable outlier, by far. Listeners can easily dance to it, and it's speedier than the rest of the songs. With its summery feel and upbeat tempo, there's no surprise it was the second single. "Baby, I know you do that all the girls/know that I'm fragile/ba-ba-ba-baby/don't blow me away," are stuck-in-your-head-worthy.
Unfortunately for Solange, her music is always going to be overshadowed by her sister's pop hits. It's much too easy to listen to a Beyonce synthetic song than nouveau-70s pop. For those of us who remember Solange's Disney Channel days, namely the theme song of "The Proud Family," this album is sort of a let down - especially because just the name of that show brings to mind its poppy theme song. But wait, she did that with her sister. Poor Solange.
As an album, there's a good effort here, but something is missing. If every song had the appeal of "Sandcastle Disco," the album would be great. But songs like "Valentines Day" and "6 O Clock Blues" blend together too much to be separately reviewed. Maybe for her next effort, Solange will take some pointers from Beyonce and Jay-Z.