After Solange Knowles released her very first album, “Solostar,” it was deemed a failed attempt at trying to step out of the shadow of her famous sister, BeyoncĂ© Knowles. However, she has returned with a sophomore album “Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams” that has a psychedelic feel, and, in my opinion, is lyrically, beautiful. She enlisted the help of big names in the industry such as the Neptunes, and Cee-Lo to create this retro work of art. It seems that Sol-Angel has truly found her voice by taking the reins of her career.

When I first heard this album, I was instantly drawn into the 70’s Mo-town atmosphere that it creates. Of course, her singles “I Decided” and “SandCastle Disco” gives you insight into this world. The first track is one of the many standout tracks, “God Given Name.” This is one that can be an instant favorite, due to its lyrical content. She is very creative, and she intricately expresses that she can only be herself despite constant labels. With verses like “I’m not her and never will be, two girls gone in different direction, striving towards the same galaxy, let my starlight shine on its own; no, I’m no sister. I’m just my God given name.” It is obvious who she is striving to distinguish herself apart from.

This album has a lot of emotion exuding from the lyrics. Her divorce from her husband, obviously, aided in her creation of “I would have been the one.” This song, more than likely, hits home with females who have been heartbroken. What starts off as a seemingly upbeat song has many pain-filled lyrics like, “I was the one, yes I was the one, and if he loved me that much, he still did me wrong.” The content of this song makes it one of the highlights of the album. “T.O.N.Y” is also a great track. Her voice is beautiful as she sings to listeners, “Tony don’t call no mo’; it must be something wrong with his phone.” I think it is brilliant how she turned a very common worry girls have into a laughing matter. “This Bird” is a declaration of her determination to make it in the industry and just, simply, life. She melodically spews lines like, “I’m not in denial, I’m not suicidal,” and “This bird is not slowing down.” This song is actually a remake of a group known as Boards of Canada; Solange does this very interesting song great justice. This album has many twists and turns, making it very different from mainstream themes of music today. For example, “Cosmic Journey” begins in a very smooth tone but suddenly dives into a world of techno. I have to say that Solange’s display of her clear, musical talent is very admirable.

Her statement has been made, and very soulfully, might I add. She has earned a new found respect as an artist from me. I admire her strength and courage to persevere through tough times in the industry and life. Solange connects with listeners through both her pain and joy by beautifully designing her lyrics and tunes. Earning musical respect is a very enduring task, and I believe that “Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams” is Solange’s way of demanding this honor. This album is pure proof that we should respect her artistry; she is truly talented.