A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this album is from Beyonce's sister, it's definitely an assertion of Solange's separate identity and own musical style. Several songs have some references to sex, but it's mostly implied, rather than directly in your face. One song has a subtle (more in the background) smattering of "s--t" and another, has a less subtle refrain of "shut the f--k up." There are also some references to being high.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
SOL-ANGEL AND THE HADLEY ST. DREAMS is a definite throwback to '60s soul and Motown. Solange seems to be asserting her own style and doesn't waste any time telling us that. On the very lounge-y opening track, \"God Given Name\" she croons, \"I'm not her and never will be/Let my star shine on its own.\" Other tracks delve into more delicate matters of the heart. \"T.O.N.Y\" captures regret over starting a physical relationship too soon, \"Would Have Been the One\" takes a stab at infidelity, and \"Valentine's Day\" is the album's break-up song. Much of the CD has a retro sound until \"Cosmic Journey\"; this two-parter starts out sweetly, almost dreamily, before morphing into a trance-style dance track.
Is it any good?
On the whole, this album is an impressive collection of eclectic tracks and unpredictable lyrics. Many of the songs are extremely catchy, even if R&B isn't your thing. (The Neptunes-produced "I Decided, Pt. 1" is a standout in this regard.) There are some weaker moments when Solange hits some higher notes, but despite these occasional slips, her voice is unique and distinctive and will definitely make people sit up and take notice -- and not just for being Beyonce's younger sibling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Solange's music differs from that of her more famous sister. How do their voices compare? While she uses this album as an opportunity to assert her own identity, does it seem like it would be easier to get a record deal because of her connections? Does this album stand up for itself? Would it be hard to follow in the footsteps of a sister like Beyonce? Also, on "T.O.N.Y.," Solange seems to be expressing regret about starting a physical relationship with someone too soon. Why do you think this could be so? What are the risks of doing this?