This LP is the closest I get to feeling like a total girl (no homo).
I’d been harboring a secret affection for her Neptunes laced lead single ‘I Decided’ for the last 4 months, yet it was approximately 14 seconds into the soulfully cosmic first track that I squinted and thought, “oh shit, she’s actually onto sumthin’ here”.
Then a strange evening it was when I realised Beyonce’s picknie sister had made one of the most accomplished Pop(?) albums I’d heard in a long time. Despite common criticisms of Sol’s non-powerhouse pipe prowess, musically she renders her elder slightly insipid with this statement of stubborn personal growth and deviation from the wishy-washy, spineless contemporary Rn’B genre. Time to abandon unjust comparisons.
And suddenly in front of you all, I’m incapable of denying it even if I come off like a big bitches’s blouse: soaring production value (I’ve been telling people to watch out for producer Jack Splash from Plantlife a while now), sonic fluidity, loveable, catchy, harmonies, diverse pop songwriting and above all else satisfying tunes perfectly crafted for radios and rides through the Riviera- all prominent here when other commercial Black artists severely fail with their hollow sets and Heinz Baked Bean tin sounds. (Don’t worry, we all know the majors are fascists responsible for excessive cloning.)
Sol’s greatest strengths lies in the dispensing with current cliché and her adopting retro aesthetic, romping around the merriest of Motown, the energy of 70s disco, some genuine funk-soul percussion, and even extending all of that to be pacified with cutely cut down-tempo electronica (‘Cosmic Journey’ and ‘The Bird’ are quite extraordinary and on par with many of the Soultronica acts I’ve championed in the past, though minus of course the disturbingly camp trance-techno breakdown that Bilal should never have agreed to be a part of- you’ll understand what I mean when you hear it). Also, ‘Champangechroniknight-Cap’ arguably sounds as if it’s the best song her older sibling never did at the height of Bey’s solo powers during the otherwise solid ‘03 ‘Dangerously In Love’ period; a gentle dig at the label and public expectation maybe.
I may be a murky little man sometimes, but yo son, the sun shining off this disc is irresistible. All I need right now is ribbons. Lots of ribbons. And a health spa visit. And low-calorie fudge.
[Download Link Deleted By Request from Copyright Holder]
1. God Given Name
3. Dancing In The Dark
4. Would’ve Been The One
5. Sandcastle Disco
6. I Decided (Part I)
7. Valentines Day
8. 6 O’Clock Blues
9. Ode To Marvin
10. I Told You So
11. Cosmic Journey feat. Bilal
12. The Bird
13. I Decided (Part II)
My stand-out tracks highlighted in Bold Red above.
Video: God Given Name
Fantasticunt LP rating:
8.5 mums out of 10
[If this artist/group deserves your money, click this to buy CD]