Pharrell Williams, Sampha and Tyler, the Creator are among the guests on Knowles fourth album but they cant always prevent it from floating away
The credits for Solange Knowles fourth album are long and impressively varied, offering up a supporting cast that includes everyone from Pharrell Williams to John Carroll Kirby a new age-y ambient artist given to releasing albums called things like Meditations in Music Gucci Mane to actor Debbie Allen. Those old enough to remember the early 80s may recall Allen sternly informing Bruno, Doris, Leroy et al that Right heres where you start paying in sweat every week during the intro to Fame on BBC One. One track alone features a group of backing singers involving Tyler, the Creator, Panda Bear from Animal Collective and Sampha, which, by anyones standards, seems a fairly eclectic crowd to herd into a vocal booth.
But one credit sticks out, because you see it over and over again: All lyrics and melodies written by Solange Knowles. In a pop landscape where even confessional singer-songwriters require a team of co-authors in order to bare their souls, here is evidence that Knowles is cut from a slightly different, more auteur-like cloth. No assistance is required from blue-chip LA writing teams, former indie stars turned hacks for hire, or shadowy pop factories whose presence makes your songwriting credits look like the starting 11 of the Swedish World Cup squad.
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