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Review: Solange stays 'True' to the beat

January 08, 2013|By Randall Roberts
  • "True" by Solange
"True" by Solange (Handout )

A shimmering New York dance EP originally released as a digital download in late November, "True" becomes objectified on CD and vinyl Tuesday, and though the physical release doesn't feature any new stuff, it's nice to have such an infectiously heavy dance record occupy space in the world.

Solange Knowles, as you may know, is Jay-Z's sister-in-law, but ignore the Beyoncé connection, at least when it comes to nepotistic skepticism. Here Solange crafts her own brand of dance music, one thick with wobbly bass and a dense dose of late-1970s loft music, early-'80s post-disco and syrupy early-'00s NYC house music. A collaboration with the British producer-musician Dev Hynes (best known under the monikers Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange), "True" delivers seven takes on funky dance music that's smooth without being cheesy, and well-lubricated with solid, snare-driven rhythms.

At its best — "Lovers in the Parking Lot," "Losing You" and the seductive slow-house jam "Bad Girls" — Solange offers beat-heavy seduction that dwells in that mystical moment when Saturday night collides with Sunday morning on the dance floor. What's best, despite its New York-centric vibe, those locals looking for a beat-heavy record to crank at full volume while stuck in Los Angeles traffic need look no further.

Solange

"True"

(Terrible Records)

Three and a half stars (out of four)

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