Sol-Angel & the Hadley Street Dreams
Solange Knowles steps out of her sister’s shadow on her second album, said Ken Capobianco in The Boston Globe. The 22-year-old kid sister of Beyoncé is “confident and in command” throughout Sol-Angel & the Hadley Street Dreams, a retro-leaning record steeped in Motown and 1970s soul. Her 2003 debut, Solo Star, was a forgettable, by-the-numbers R&B album on which Solange struggled to distinguish herself from her sister. Since then, Solange has been married, given birth to a son, and gone through a divorce—making this album “an entirely different affair,” said Andy Kellman in All Music Guide. Sol-Angel is peppy, “slightly eccentric, and, most important, fearless.” On “T.O.N.Y.” Knowles recounts a one-night stand. On “God Given Name” she addresses her public image, singing “I’m not her and never will be.” “Give the kid points for trying,” said Jody Rosen in Rolling Stone. But even with such high-profile producers as Mark Ronson and Jermaine Dupri at her side, Solange lacks “charisma, a distinct musical personality, and an almighty gale-force singing voice.” It’s a good thing she doesn’t want to be likened to Beyoncé; “there’s no comparison.”
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