Solange Knowles is her own woman, and in many respects, a woman’s woman. On her seven-track EP, True, Beyoncé’s eclectic younger sister charters the jagged waters of love, lust, loss and all things in between. She is at one point the woman we have been, and at another, the woman we don’t want to be.
Duality reigns supreme here, as Solange tackles complex situations with even more complex sounds. To the amateur, heartache can only be depicted through the quintessential ballad—using slow, painstaking melodies to relay the pain—but she does just the opposite, employing up-tempo handclaps and catchy choruses to ease the blow. “Losing You” and “Lovers in the Parking Lot” reminds us that women can be selfish, too, admitting regret and shameful defeat in the war of love over experimental beats. The latter and less carefree track also sneaks Solange’s vocal range and soulful harmonies along for the ride.
Still, the singer's brave face somehow makes her vulnerability more apparent. Foul-mouthed and frustrated on “Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work,” her plea to be left alone rings false. She wants her love to stick around. She even plays the role of the dreamer, playfully fantasizing about being someone’s object of affection on “Locked in Closets.” Musically, both tracks channel sounds of the ’80s, proving these sentiments to be timeless.
For many like her, the hypocrisy is clear. On one hand, we’re begging our lovers not to break our hearts as she does on “Don’t Let Me Down,” and on the other, we’re “Bad Girls”: destructive balls of confusion. She knows it’s never simple. --Iyana Robertson