Forget the Solange Knowles you heard years ago on SoL-Angel and the Hadley Street Dreams. That was a major label signee with indie sensibilities and a vintage sound. This time, Solange is on an indie label making understated pop, and she's much more at home.
True leads off with the single, “Losing You,” with its clacking, high-energy beat that expects more fun in the vocals. But when Solange delivers a mid-tempo breakup story, it's not a letdown. It's a pleasant juxtaposition that you can sing along with before the end of your first listen.
The track sets the pace for the rest of the seven-song EP, both in style and tone. These are songs you want to dance to, but not in a club or a festival frenzy. The production never runs away with itself and Solange doesn't offer up any thundering or soaring moments. She keeps her cool (and sounds gorgeous while doing it), while Devonte Hynes injects some energy that's part agreeable pop and part old soul.
That sound suits the content. Solange sings about failing and failed relationships, but not from an especially emotional place. From “Losing You,” to “Some Things Never Seem To Fucking Work,” to “Lovers In The Parking Lot,” we're in the mind of someone thinking it all through.
These elements come together to make an EP that is good and refreshing, but isn't going to blow anyone away. There's nothing emotionally charged enough to get a big visceral reaction -- and a lot of people need that big emotional hook. It's a shame because True sounds great -- both interesting and an easy listen. The pop hooks don't yank you in so much as coax you.
And that's also why it succeeds. Solange isn't demanding our attention. She's doing her thing and hoping we like it. (You'll probably like it.)