Believe The Hype
Solange – True (Terrible)
One of the signatures of post-disco but New Wave, electro-inspired rhythm and blues of the ’80s was the insistence on the groove. Dance music has a tendency to be lifeless and robotic, but there was a time when melody matched the beat. Solange is far too young to really know this in any capacity other than possibly as one of those living room jam sessions that parents have after one too many or reminiscing with old friends. The ones punctuated with the phrase, “You don’t know nothing about this!” However, Solange’s instajam EP True has all the ingredients of the best dance soul. The lyrics are substantial enough to evoke feeling, yet simple enough to not to disrupt the funkin. Take, for instance, the lead single, “Losing You,” aforementioned as one of my favorite songs of the year. The beat is bubbly and Euro-soul-ish with the handclaps and repeated verse – it is a feeling. “Don’t Let Me Down” benefits from much of the same magic. The main lyric “If I’m with you, rest assured that I’m in love with you,” a simple sentiment, but is “with” in the biblical sense(?), and if so, it is an assurance with the plea/warning, “Baby baby please don’t let me down.” Then, there are songs like “Some Things Don’t Ever Seem To Fucking Work” which recalls what seems like a relationship that works in one aspect (“I’ve seen you with the lights off, I’ve seen you when you think you love me”) only to surrender to the sad fact (“I’m thinking of some time off, I dreaming of a time when you knew me”). It is also hinted at in the “Lovers In The Parking Lot” refrain “I played around with your heart, now I’m playing around in the dark.” The melancholy is tempered by the – what’s that word? – groove; it is the only word that works. A collaboration between Solange and Blood Orange’s Dev Hines, True is a mid-day barbeque and Saturday night soundtrack of love and loss, broken heart, moving butt.