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Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams

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Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams
Solange - Sol-Angel And The Hadley St. Dreams.jpg
Studio album by Solange
Released August 26, 2008 (2008-08-26)
Recorded 2005–08
Genre Pop-soul,[1] psychedelic soul,[2] electronica,[3] R&B[4]
Label Geffen, Music World
Producer Solange Knowles (exec.), Mathew Knowles (exec.), Ron Fair (exec.), Bama Boyz, Freemasons, The Neptunes, Jack Splash, Square, Mark Ronson, Max Gousse, Mr. Familiar, Soulshock & Karlin, Shea Taylor, Thievery Corporation
Solange chronology
Solo Star
(2002)Solo Star2002
Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams
(2008)
True
(2012)True2012
Singles from Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams
  1. "I Decided"
    Released: April 22, 2008
  2. "ChampagneChroniKnightcap"
    Released: August 19, 2008
  3. "Sandcastle Disco"
    Released: November 25, 2008
  4. "T.O.N.Y."
    Released: March 31, 2009
  5. "Wanna Go Back"
    Released: August 17, 2010

Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams is the second studio album by American R&B singer Solange Knowles. It was released August 26, 2008, by Geffen Records. Recording from 2005 to 2008, Knowles was heavily influenced by the "Motown Sound" of the 1960s and 1970s during the album's conception, prompting her to work with several vintage-style producers and songwriters such as Jack Splash, CeeLo Green, Mark Ronson, and former Holland–Dozier–Holland composer Lamont Dozier.[5][6] Exploring the lyrical theme of independence, it also incorporates elements of downbeat and electronic music that she had familiarized herself with on previous trips to Europe.

Deviating from the R&B and dance-pop of Knowles' debut album, Solo Star (2002), Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams featured promotion that aimed at an "intellectual, backpacking, coffee shop, digital kid" audience, according to her record label.[7] The album debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 46,000 copies in its first week, and spawned three singles that reached number one on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. Upon its release, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams received generally positive reviews from most music critics. As of April 2009, it has sold 138,000 copies in the United States.

Background[edit]

Knowles had been working on her second studio album on and off since 2005 following her return home to Houston, Texas, and her divorce from Daniel Smith, with whom she had lived following the birth of their son Daniel Julez in October 2004.[8] The follow-up to the critical and commercial disappointment of 2003's Solo Star was preceded by Knowles's move from Columbia to Geffen Records in late 2007.[9] Knowles was heavily influenced by Motown girl groups such as The Supremes and The Marvelettes, and by her mother Tina, a one-time member of the 1960s harmony group The Veltones, who used to play music by the likes of Dusty Springfield and Martha Reeves to her. Knowles decided to distance herself from the teen pop and dance-pop-oriented R&B sound mainly associated with her previous effort, Solo Star.[8]

Willed to create a concept album revolving around her growth as a musical artist instead,[10] she eventually got into the idea of a "sweet, soulful record [...] based around the Sixties and Seventies, telling stories of where I have been the last couple years."[8] Also borrowing elements from downbeat and electronic music she discovered on recent trips to Europe,[11] her vision of the album eventually resulted in a mixture that Knowles has described as a "'60s/70s vintage soul record with hints of electronica."[12] In an interview with Billboard magazine, Geffen Records chairman Ron Fair said of the album prior to release, "Her record is totally bananas ... It's not what people would expect from her. The music is more electric and international. She's in her own lane."[13]

Recording[edit]

Although Knowles had previously worked with a wide range of high-profile producers and songwriters on earlier projects, she struggled to convince her wishlisted musicians to contribute to Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, production-wise. This was due to no producer signing on to the project before hearing any material for the album.[16] "I don't think it was offensive," Knowles admitted. "I understand that these are people that want to take on credible passionate projects. So before I would work with them I would schedule a meeting and play them the record. And then they were more convinced and willing to get on board."[17] Cee-Lo Green and Mark Ronson were not consulted until late into the production of the album, both having been persuaded by Knowles at the 50th Grammy Awards ceremony: "I had to party with Cee-Lo too to get him to work on the record [...] but once he did [listen to my music] he signed on immediately."[16][18]

Knowles collaborated with several studio personalities, including Jack Splash, Shea Taylor, Mr. Familiar, Lamont Dozier, production teams Soulshock & Karlin and Bama Boyz, as well as singers and rappers Pharrell Williams, Bilal, Q-Tip and Lil Wayne respectively.[16][19] In addition, Marsha Ambrosius of Floetry lent vocals to the unreleased recording "Wanna Go Back", while Raphael Saadiq and British singer Estelle demoed the track "Same Song, Different Man", which didn’t make it to the final track listing.[16] In an interview with Starpulse, Knowles later said of the experience:

"By the end of the project, I had worked with all of the producers and artists I had ever dreamed of including Q-Tip, Boards of Canada and Mark Ronson ... When I got a call saying the legendary Lamont Dozier would take the time out to write with little old me I was ecstatic beyond words."[16]

Inspired by the aspirations of Knowles's father Mathew, the album was titled after Hadley Street, a plot of land in downtown Houston: "My father took me there one day and told me he was going to build a studio," she said in an interview with the Daily Mail. "The title is a tribute to his vision. He had a plan and he saw it through. That was a real eye-opener for me. It inspired me to dig out my old Marvin Gaye albums and start writing songs."[8]

Singles[edit]

The album's lead single, "I Decided", was released on April 22, 2008.[20] It charted at number 44 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs,[21] at number one on the Hot Dance Singles Sales and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales charts, and at number two on the Hot Singles Sales chart.[22][21][23][24] It also peaked at number 27 on the UK Singles Chart and at number 6 on the UK R&B Singles Chart.[25][26] "ChampagneChroniKnightcap" featuring American rapper Lil Wayne was released as a single on August 19.[27] November 25 saw the release of "Sandcastle Disco",[28] which reached the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.[29] "T.O.N.Y." was released as the fourth single on March 31, 2009,[30] topping the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.[31] The song also charted at number 31 on Billboard's Adult R&B Songs,[32] and number 62 on both the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[33][34]

On August 17, 2010, "Wanna Go Back" was released as a single,[35] and an EP of remixes for "I Told You So" was released;[36] the latter charted at number 5 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play.[37] A similar EP featuring remixes of "Would've Been the One" was released the following week on August 25,[38] and it reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play.[39] On October 25, a remix EP was issued for "6 O'Clock Blues".[40]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Consumer Guide (2-star Honorable Mention)[41]
Digital Spy 4/5 stars[42]
Entertainment Weekly B+[43]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[4]
Hot Press 4/5[44]
Pitchfork 7.3/10[45]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[46]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[3]
The Times 4/5 stars[47]

In promoting the album, Geffen and Music World Entertainment aimed at an "intellectual, backpacking, coffee shop, digital kid" audience.[48] Leading up to its release, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams featured promotional photography of Knowles in an array of costumes and wigs that evoke late 1960s and early 1970s fashion styles. Releaesed on August 26, 2008,[49] the album debuted at number three on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart,[50] and at number nine on the Billboard 200,[51] with first-week sales of 46,000 copies.[52] By April 2009, the album had sold 138,000 copies in the United States.[53]

Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 72, based on 14 reviews.[49] Rob Harvilla from The Village Voice called the album "bizarrely mesmerizing" and felt that some of the material's idiosyncratic and unconventional lyrics invite "inexplicable but highly favorable comparisons to Kate Bush. (Ethereal but powerful, unhinged but in total command.)"[54] Ken Capobianco of The Boston Globe referred to the album as a "smartly executed, classy set of songs that's miles away from the hoochie pop being turned out by young female R&B vocalists these days".[55] Pryia Elan of The Times declared it "a modern classic",[47] while Hartford Courant critic Dan LeRoy compared Knowles' music to that of her sister Beyoncé. "Solange combines retro warmth and current cool in ways her more commercially successful sibling probably can't", Leroy wrote.[56] Jaimie Gill of Yahoo! Music called Sol-Angel a "fine, rich and extremely likeable record",[57] and Francis Jones from Hot Press found Solange's singing "sassy and assured".[44] Andy Kellman of AllMusic cited it as "one of the year's more entertaining and easily enjoyable R&B releases" and found it "fun, silly, slightly eccentric and, most importantly, fearless".[1]

Jody Rosen was less enthusiastic in Rolling Stone. He found it "embarrassing" for Knowles to attempt Erykah Badu-inspired psychedelic-soul on tracks such as "Cosmic Journey", and remained unimpressed by her singing and the record's sound, which he compared to "a woozy lava lamp glow."[46] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian called its music "savvy R&B with a gloss you can check your reflection in", but ultimately observed "a lack of both memorable tunes and the steely spined ardour that makes Beyoncé so compelling."[4] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine was ambivalent towards its use of sampling on certain songs, but praised "the mix of organic, old-school instrumentation and more electronic elements", which he felt make it "a loose, fun and reverent record."[3] In MSN Music, Robert Christgau gave the album an "honorable mention" and deemed Knowles "privilege's child" who "runs through her options" in a defiant but frothy manner, while naming "Would've Been the One" and "I Decided" as highlights.[58] Vibe's Keith Murphy later named Sol-Angel one of the best R&B albums of the year.[59]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "God Given Name" Solange Knowles, Robert Garza, Eric Hilton 2:51
2. "T.O.N.Y." CeeLo Green, Jack Splash 3:54
3. "Dancing In the Dark" Knowles, Marcello Grasso, Steven Sanz, Christopher Thomas, Heinz Kiessling 3:57
4. "Would've Been the One" Knowles, Makeba Riddick, Splash 4:30
5. "Sandcastle Disco" Knowles, Green Carsten Schack, Kenneth Karlin 4:28
6. "I Decided, Part 1" Knowles, Pharrell Williams, Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, Eddie Holland 4:13
7. "Valentine's Day" Knowles, Jesse Rankins, Eddie Smith III, Jonathan Wells 3:26
8. "6 O'Clock Blues" Knowles, Dozier, Mark Ronson, Bosco Mann, Homer Steinweiss, Neal Sugarman, Thomas Brenneck 3:37
9. "Ode to Marvin" Knowles, Riddick, Splash, Marvin Gaye, Renaldo Benson, Al Cleveland 3:15
10. "I Told You So" Knowles, Shea Taylor 3:56
11. "Cosmic Journey" (featuring Bilal) Knowles, Bilal Oliver, Schack, Karlin 6:11
12. "This Bird" Knowles, Marcus Eoin, Michael Sandison 6:07
13. "I Decided, Part 2" (Freemasons Remix) Knowles, Williams, Dozier, B. Holland, E. Holland 4:00
2008 deluxe edition bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
14. "6 O'Clock Blues" (Whatever Whatever Radio Remix)   4:05
15. "I Told You So" (Mike Rizzo Funk Generation Radio Mix)   3:21
16. "Wanna Go Back" (featuring Marsha Ambrosius & Q-Tip) Knowles, Marsha Ambrosius, Q-Tip, Brian Miller, Oliver 4:44

Sample credits[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

  • Sean Hurley – guitar, keyboards, bass instrument
  • John "Jabb" Broussard – guitar, bass instrument (Track 7)
  • Phillip Todd – saxophone
  • Noel Langley – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Neil Sidwell – trombone
  • Manny Patino – drums

Production[edit]

  • Arrangers: Jack Splash, Karlin, Simon Hale, Soulshock
  • Engineers: Rommel Nino Villanueva, Andres Bermudez, Gelly Kusuma, Christian Plata, Ryan Gilligan, Shinnosuke Miyazawa, Robert "LB" Dorsey, Patrick Magee, Andrew Coleman
  • Mixing: Ben H. Allen (Track 9), Neal H. Pogue (2, 6, 8, 13), Jack Splash (4), Manny Marroquin (3, 5), Dave Pensado (1, 7, 10, 12), Soulshock (11)
  • Mastering: Tom Coyne, Chris Gehringer
  • Art direction: Fusako Chubachi, Erwin Gorostiza

Charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[63] 180
UK R&B Albums Chart[63] 21
US Billboard 200[51] 9
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[50] 3

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. Review: Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  2. ^ Wood, Mikael (August 28, 2008). "No little-sister act for Solange Knowles". Los Angeles. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Cinquemani, Sal. Review: Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  4. ^ a b c Sullivan, Caroline. Review: Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  5. ^ "Beyoncé's little sister Solange manages motherhood, music and a divorce". Sister2Sister Magazine. 2008-05-01. Archived from the original on August 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  6. ^ Murphy, Keith. "Volume Now: Solange Knowles". Vibe. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  7. ^ Buy New Music. Buy Old Music. Just Buy Something. » SOULBOUNCE.COM. SoulBounce. August 25, 2008. Retrieved on 2011-05-27.
  8. ^ a b c d Adrian Thrills (2008-08-07). "Little sis Solange emerges from 'bootylicious' Beyoncé's shadow". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  9. ^ Daniels, Karu F. (2007-11-18). "SOLANGE KNOWLES: Off On Her Own". AOL Black Voices. AOL Black Voices. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  10. ^ Sylvia Arthur (2008-06-01). "Destiny’s Child: Solange Comes of Age". Clutch Magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  11. ^ Olivia Smith (2008-06-17). "Sister act: Solange Knowles, Beyonce's younger sibling, comes into her own". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  12. ^ Lindsay, Cam (2008-08-25). "Solange - "This Bird" (Feat. Boards of Canada)". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  13. ^ Hillary Crosley (2007-12-11). "Solange Knowles Inks With Geffen". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  14. ^ ILIKEIT (August 31, 2008). Music Review - Solange Knowles: Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. Singersroom. Retrieved on 2011-07-05.
  15. ^ Godfrey, Sarah (September 13, 2008). Sloppy Seconds: The Game and Solange have a hard time avoiding the shadow of bigger names. Washington City Paper. Retrieved on 2011-07-05.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Solange Knowles To Release, 'Sol-Angel And The Hadley Street Dreams,' Aug. 26". Starpulse. 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  17. ^ "Solange Talks Musical Hiatus and 'Hadley St. Dreams' - The Boombox Music Blog". TheBoomBox. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  18. ^ "Knowles Partied to Woo Producers". Contactmusic. 2008-08-18. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  19. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (2008-04-22). "Pharrell, Lil Wayne Grace Solange Knowles CD". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  20. ^ I Decided (April 22, 2008). Mp3 Downloads: Solange. Amazon.com. Accessed April 28, 2008.
  21. ^ a b Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales
  22. ^ "Solange > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  23. ^ Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales
  24. ^ Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales
  25. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100 17 August 2008 - 23 August 2008". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company (UK). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  26. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40 17 August 2008 - 23 August 2008". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company (UK). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  27. ^ "Champagne Chronik Nightcap - Single". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Solange - Sandcastle Disco". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  29. ^ "Top Dance Music Chart - Billboard - December 20, 2008". Billboard. Billboard (US). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
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  31. ^ "Top Dance Music Chart - Billboard - May 2, 2009". Billboard. Billboard (US). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  32. ^ "Solange - Chart History - Adult R&B Chart". Billboard. Billboard (US). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  33. ^ "Solange - Chart History - R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay Chart". Billboard. Billboard (US). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  34. ^ "Solange - Chart History - Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart". Billboard. Billboard (US). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  35. ^ "Wanna Go Back - Single by Solange on Apple Music". Apple Music. Apple Music (US). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  36. ^ "I Told You So Remixes HMV Digital". HMV Digital. HMV Digital (UK). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  37. ^ "Top Dance Music Chart - Billboard - August 28, 2010". Billboard. Billboard (US). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  38. ^ "Would've Been the One (The Remixes) HMV Digital". HMV Digital. HMV Digital (UK). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  39. ^ "Top Dance Music Chart - Billboard - October 17, 2009". Billboard. Billboard (US). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  40. ^ "6 O'Clock Blues (Remixes) - EP by Solange on Apple Music". Apple Music. Apple Music (UK). Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  41. ^ "CG: Solange". Robert Christgau. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  42. ^ Levine, Nick (August 18, 2008). "Solange: 'Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams'". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  43. ^ Slezak, Michael. Review: Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  44. ^ a b Jones, Francis (September 11, 2008). "Sol-Angel And The Hadley St. Dreams". Hot Press. Dublin. 
  45. ^ Finney, Tim. Review: Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  46. ^ a b Rosen, Jody. Review: Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams at the Wayback Machine (archived March 17, 2009). Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2012-11-18.
  47. ^ a b Elan, Priya (August 15, 2008). "Solange: Sol Angel and the Hadley St Dreams". The Times. London. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  48. ^ "Album Preview: Solange - ‘SoL-AngeL and The Hadley St. Dreams’". Rap-Up Magazine. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  49. ^ a b "Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams by Solange". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  50. ^ a b Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - Sol-Angel & The Hadley St. Dreams - Solange Billboard. Accessed September 19, 2008.
  51. ^ a b The Billboard 200 - Sol-Angel & The Hadley St. Dreams - Solange Billboard. Accessed September 19, 2008.
  52. ^ David Jenison (2008-09-03). "09/03/2008 - Yahoo! Music Top 10". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  53. ^ Starbury, Allen. Geffen Ends Relationship With Solange Knowles, Singer Headed For Epic?. Baller Status. Retrieved on 2010-02-27.
  54. ^ Harvilla, Rob. Review: Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-07-22.
  55. ^ "In her sister's shadow no more - The Boston Globe". Boston Globe. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  56. ^ Hartford Courant Review: Sol-Angel. Hartford Courant. Retrieved on 2008-12-31.
  57. ^ Gill, Jaimie. "Review of Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on 2012-11-18. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  58. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 2009). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  59. ^ Murphy, Keith. "Volume Now: Solange Knowles". Vibe: 86–88. November 2008.
  60. ^ SoL-AngeL and the Hadley Street Dreams on iTunes
  61. ^ SoL-AngeL and the Hadley Street Dreams on CircuitCity.com
  62. ^ Sol-Angel & the Hadley St. Dreams (Deluxe) by Solange on Apple Music
  63. ^ a b "Chart Log UK - Chart Coverage and Record Sales 2008". Zobbel. zobbel.de. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 

External links[edit]