Sol-Angel And The Hadley St. Dreams
The various elements are spun like syrup round a spoon; creating a deliciously moreish concoction, the sort you’ll want to dip into time and again.
Rating: 8 / 10
Francis Jones, 11 Sep 2008
‘God Given Name’, the opening track on Sol-Angel And The Hadley St. Dreams defiantly states, “I’m not her and never will be”. It’s a plea that we listen without prejudice, that we not compare Solange with her superstar sibling, Beyoncé. Because this sister is doing it for herself. Actually, that’s not strictly true – this record has been moulded by a battalion of high-powered producers and collaborators, not least The Neptunes, Thievery Corporation and the ubiquitous Mark Ronson. But let’s not quibble.
The slick but belated sequel to her 2003 debut, Sol-Angel… is a funky junkshop of vintage R&B grooves and modern hip hop stylings.
The various elements are spun like syrup round a spoon; creating a deliciously moreish concoction, the sort you’ll want to dip into time and again. ‘Would’ve Been The One’ dusts down some Seventies soul vibes, adds some jitterbug keys and a hook pricklier than a thicket of thorns. Catching wave after wave of handclaps and piano, The Neptunes-produced ‘I Decided Pt. 1’ is similarly melodious; elsewhere the sultry rhythms and languorous vocal of ‘Valentine’s Day’ caress the spirit whilst sneakily tweaking the erogenous zones.
Star-studded it might be, but the greatest triumph here is the performance of Solange. Her singing is sassy and assured, the closing ‘Champagnechroniknightcap’ full of breathy intonation, falling and rising, river deep, mountain high. In fact after listening to Sol-Angel… we have only one question, Beyoncé Who?
Key Track: ‘Would’ve Been The One’