Solange Knowles, who is often compared to her superstar sister Beyonce, wants to set the record straight before her sophomore album, “Sol-Angel and the Hadley Street Dream,” drops Aug. 26 via Music World/Geffen. “I’m not her and never will be / two girls gone in different directions, striving towards the same galaxy / let my star light shine on its own / No, I’m no sister, I’m just my God-given name,” Knowles sings on the appropriately titled opener “God Given Name.” Mathew Knowles, their father/manager, tells Billboard Solange wasnât concerned with being âperfectâ on this album. “Beyonce’s already got pop and she’s perfect at it. Solange just wanted to sing from the heart. She wants her feelings and emotions to touch you. That’s why ‘God Given Name’ was purposely the first song — so she can share with you how different she is.” Knowles definitely attempts to stray from her sister’s staple sound on the upcoming album. With the help of producers the Neptunes, Jack Splash, Q-Tip and Mark Ronson, “Sol-Angel” is less pop, with more of a modern twist on hip-hop and R&B flecked with tinges of blues and jazz. And, unlike her sister — who has yet to go public about her relationship and recent marriage to rapper Jay-Z — Solange has no reservations about sharing personal experiences. Tracks like the break-up song “Valentine’s Day,” the regretful “T.O.N.Y.,” about a one-night stand, and the Pharrell-produced lead single “I Decided,” all demonstrate her storytelling abilities. Other tracks on the set include the Bilal-penned “Cosmic Journey,” “Wanna Go Back” featuring Marsha Ambrosius of Floetry, the Estelle-assisted “Same Song, Different Man,” “Champagnechronicnightcap,” alongside Lil Wayne, and “SandCastle Disco,” which is set to be the second single. In addition, Knowles has partnered with Wal Mart and plans on releasing a branded MP3 player soon. She will also embark on “The Art of Love” tour featuring Raheem Devaughn and Chrisette Michele starting next week, and although details were scant, she is currently negotiating another stateside tour and an international endorsement deal. Knowles’ 2003 debut, “Solo Star,”, reached No. 23 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and has sold 112,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan. Source: Billboard
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