The Realist: Solange
It’s been almost 2 weeks since Solange came and blessed us with A Seat at the Table and – I would say – it’s her best piece of work to date! I’ve been reserving my judgement until now, not wanting to be swept up in the hype… I’ve slept on it, traveled overseas with it, came back and went back to work with it and the verdict is, I loved it from the get go! It didn’t need to grow on me, and I don’t skip tracks, I repeat them! It’s literally been the only music I’ve listened to this past fortnight. Bar a chopped and screwed version of the album and a sweet remix of Cranes in the Sky.
I don’t know about you but I’ve found myself getting emotional listening to it. Solange is using her platform to highlight what it is to be black in America at the moment. If you follow her on any of her social media platforms you’ll know she’s vocal about human rights and black rights issues. Even though she’s the little sister to you know who, she definitely isn’t immune to discriminatory situations and it’s reflected in her music. Many parts are her truth but I still find it profoundly relatable, especially in this time that we’re in right now as a people. I think that’s what gets me choked up listening to her.
If you’re remotely interested in Solange you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this third studio album of hers – first of which to go number one on the Billboard Chart! She co-produced it with Raphael Saadiq and Master P, but wrote and arranged the whole album her self. Solange is by all means her own woman, but I can’t help but hear Aaliyah in her airy falsetto riffs and if you’re familiar with Raphael Saadiq, you’ll hear his touches throughout! These are all good things however, zero shade!
Since the album has been released to great acclaim, there’s been a buzz that doesn’t compare to her previous 2 albums and EP. We’ve seen our friends post up about their favourite tracks and celebrated the fact that 2 sisters -for the first time ever!- had their albums make it to the number one slot on the Billboard Chart in the same year…they did that! #BlackGirlsRockHard
A Seat at the Table is a beautiful piece of work; a Black Care Kit in audio, with storytelling interludes between tracks that portraits the African American experience then and now. It celebrates, it voices concerns, it affirms, it identifies and empathises like that wise old friend that turns up at just the right time!
Stand Out Tracks:
Tracks like Rise, electric soul sounding intro that gives me Roy Ayers The Sunshine type vibes.
Weary reminds me – for obvious reasons once you listen to it- of the situation that lead to her writing this piece she wrote And Do You Belong, I Do a month back now, where Solange and her family went to a concert. They were told to sit down by a group of older white females because they had the nerve to be standing up and dancing at a concert. She felt 2 objects hit her in the back, and her son told her that they were throwing limes at them…
I’m weary of the ways of the world
Be weary of the ways of the world
Do you belong? I do.
My favourite track is Cranes In the Sky because it sounds like it’s about coping with the BS that life throws at you, it really resonates with me. I love the way it builds – the vocal arrangement, you can just tell Raphael Saadiq’s base guitar is all over this track and the riffs at the end give me life! She summed up a lot of us in this track, myself included #LookAtYourLife lol
I tried to drink it away
I tried to put one in the air
I tried to dance it away
I tried to change it with my hair
I ran my credit card bill up, thought a new dress would make it better
I tried to work it away, but that just made me even sadder
I tried to keep myself busy, I ran around in circles think I make myself dizzy
I slept it away
I sexed it away
I read it away
Mad features Lil Wayne, which I found intriguing to listen to, seeing as he mentioned in an interview not to long ago that he’s blessed and has never had to deal with racism… I guess the struggle is enough to get mad about, no matter who you are. I love the track regardless.
You got the right to be mad, but when you carry it alone you’ll find it will only get in the way.
They say you gotta let it go.
Tina Taught Me interlude was everything!
“There is so much beauty in being black…they have a black history month but we don’t have a white history month” All we’ve ever been taught is white history” TELL THEM TINA!
Don’t Touch My Hair – visually channeling Patrice Rushen and Don’t Wish Me Well is giving me a serious 80’s synthesizer throughout!
Check it out for yourself! You’ll find insightful interludes featuring Master P; Kelly Rowland singing a few bars; ad-libs and backing vocals from Tweet; South London electronic music artist Sampha featured in Don’t Touch My Hair and Borderline featuring Q-Tip!
Solange has flexed her trademark contemporary art muscles in both the visual and audible sense, it’s the truth, it’s pure and sweet and I am all here for it,100%! My favourite album of the year thus far.