Matthew Knowles, Music World Entertainment and Geffen Records hosted a media-only listening session May 13 for Solange Knowles sophomore album, "Sol-Angel & The Hadley Street Dreams," scheduled for an August 26 release. On the eclectic R&B set, the 22 year-old singer not only takes on a new sound but she also wastes no time to set the record straight about comparisons to older sister Beyonce.

"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," Solange clarifies on the intro track appropriately titled "God Given Name," over a simple piano pattern.

"Solange wasn't concerned with being perfect on this album," Mr. Knowles told Billboard.biz. "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."

Solange 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, to list a few, "Sol-Angel & The Hadley Street Dreams" is less pop and more 60s and 70s instrumentation with tinges of blues, techno, jazz and funk combined with a modern hip-hop and R&B twist.

And 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 further demonstrate Solange's naked storytelling abilities. "I decided that lyrically I would tell my story, with hopes to inspire and most importantly spare no punches in holding back," Solange said via a statement.

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.

The video for "I Decided" is directed by Melina and features Solange in settings from "American Bandstand," the Civil Rights movement and a "Cosmic Journey" atmosphere. It will be serviced to music television channels this month. "I Decided Pt. 2" featuring The Freemasons will be released as the first single in Europe in coming weeks.

In addition, Solange 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 May 20, and although details were scant, she is currently negotiating another stateside tour and an international endorsement deal. Solange and her sister Beyonce are also the face of Samantha Thavasa, a handbag designer from Tokyo.

Knowles' 2003 debut, "Solo Star," via Music World/Columbia, 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.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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