It has taken a while, partially for good reason, as this album of the week takes many quality listens to appreciate it.
Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams is Solange’s second album. However it really is her breakout album commercially, and in probably in general. I say in general due to the fact her first album, although I have not heard it in a while is more formulaic. Not that that is a bad thing, but it sticks to the style of R&B we are commercially used to.
Solange, for those not aware is Beyoncé’s sister. Her (Solange) new album is much less accessible than your average R&B album. Much different, I kind of think of this in the way I think of the latest Coldplay. That is, indeed less accessible, however much more to it. Possibly an acquired taste one might say.
Despite differing from typical R&B, it still is an R&B album, however much of it has a distinct vintage style. Producers range from Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse), The Neptunes, Thievery Corporation, and Solange herself.
To get a feel for the vintage style, one just has to listen to, or watch the video for “I Decided”. The video contains elements from the 60’s onwards, and the song contains hand claps sampled from The Supremes.
The album is similar in sound until “I Told You So”, when it is a less cheerful track in feel. Just by the song title it is fairly obvious, in comparison to “Sandcastle Disco”. The following track, “Cosmic Journey”, oddly fits well immediately following “I Told You So”. Once again, the song kind of sounds like the title. It features Bilal, and kind of has a psychedelic feel for half the song. The second half really turns things around, and really completes the “cosmis journey”, ending in jungle/drum and bass.
The last track is “I Decided”, however a version that was remixed by Freemasons, and released as the first single in the UK. “ChampagneChroniKnightCap” is a bonus track worth checking out as well, I’ll leave it at that!
As I have said in the past, I am not the best at citing genres, with that said, this wasn’t the easiest album to review, however it is one that should be listened to. And listened to again, and again, etc!