All Songs Considered
Wed November 21, 2012
Song Premiere: Solange, 'Lovers in the Parking Lot'
Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 4:58 pm
Next week, Solange Knowles (sister of Beyonce), will release a brand new EP called True, and you can hear "Lovers in The Parking Lot," a lovely, very satisfying song from it, now. Alongside the other songs she's released from this project, "Lovers" has a matter of fact, gentle-voiced femininity. Her musical palette has room for girlishness and stereotypically manly sounds: the beat that mimics a 1985 song by Philadelphia rapper Schoolly D, a trap snare and skanking guitar. She sings about paying the cost for not making up her mind about a man she loved, and the lyrics are full of nostalgic regret, but she's not beating herself up. Like her sister, Solange sometimes cares more about the rhythmic value of her vocal line rather than its vamp potential.
"Lovers in the Parking Lot" is good company — for listeners and any number of songs in diverse library. Many of the references she and producer Devonte Hynes (who has recorded as Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange) make in this song, in texture and harmony, recall sounds my friends and I have been turning up for 15 or 20 years — in middle school, high school, college, last month. And to be honest, alluding to Schoolly D and En Vogue — at 3:24, you hear that "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It) " run? — is the straightest line to my heart. "Lovers in the Parking Lot" is a weirdo R&B jam that could still chart, the kind of oddly-timed release that sounds extra warm right when it's getting cold.