It doesn’t matter that the folk at Okayplayer love this; that the Onion’s AV Club called it “one of the most irresistible pop records of 2012” – none of that is true about True. What’s true about True is that the opener, Losing You is a great song – a perfect piece of strange-but-nice/lovely-and-brilliant pop, it’s like David Byrne and Brian Eno met up to remix whatever darling pop song an audience voted for and threw at them – as if a challenge. It’s been meticulously crafted, because as Stanley Kubrick once said you can in fact polish a turd – if, crucially, you freeze it first. And this icy gem has been scrubbed and polished to now mean more than it ever could on paper. It’s infectious; it begs a second (and third and fourth…) listen. It works.
The rest of the album – and actually it’s seven tracks, so it exists in some new space between an album an EP – is really rather ho-hum.
Some Things Never Seem To Fucking Work is the second song – and though it’s (almost) a trickle-down from Losing You it works better as a maxim for what follows. Across the five other songs on Solange’s EP/album nothing ever quite works.
Oh, it’s not terrible – it’s almost innocuous when taken as a whole, softly dribbling into vague shape in the background, consciously aping Madonna and Janet Jackson or in fact some imagined middle-ground between the two.
But this is Beyonce’s sister. And so it’s working out well for a lot of people to appear both knowingly ironic and unknowingly insecure in wanting – so very hard – to like this for something other than it is. Sure that the vapid centre was designed that way – as if, simply because they said so, it now means a whole more.
the True Solange will exist – for some people – for a few months. Then it will be gone. And so will Solange. She’ll reappear in her next incarnation. But will that be the true Solange?
You see, she has talent – absolutely. But she’s fighting against her sister’s image.
This is the makeover. And this will be washed off later this year. And she’ll crawl back as a new version of herself once again. Probably with one great song in tow. Again.