by Gary Houston
Often called the the “R&B Rule Breaker,” Solange has once again re-established one very crucial fact… she is NOT her sister and she damn sure ain’t trying to be.
With this new album, aptly titled A Seat at the Table,The REAL Sasha Fierce, as I like to call her, once again finds herself in a uniquely diverse space between minimalistic expression and socio-political awareness that lays a backdrop for the depiction of the “BLACK” experience in 2016. Co-Executive produced by the legendary Raphael Sadiq, this album shows Solange’s growth as an artist as she is accompanied by smooth sultry synths, deep topics, cohesive instrumentation and vocal arrangements. The finished product is a sound harkens back to the early 90’s (in my opinion). When speaking about the project Ms. Knowles uses words like “identity” and “independence.” This is clearly evident when listening to songs like “F.U.BU.” and “Don’t Touch My Hair” which happen to be two of her BEST moments.
“Cranes in the Sky” is quite frankly a masterpiece. It is a genuine piece of “honesty” in a sense that she opens up about her own coping mechanisms. This topic, although nothing new for an artist, is done in a vulnerable fashion without glorification which in is a feet in itself in today’s industry.
This concept is consistent throughout the entirety of the project even with its features. Lil Wayne makes a refreshing appearance on the track “Mad,” however, I must assert that the most thought provoking portion of the album was the interviews. I loved the anecdotes made by her father about growing up in the south, as well as Ms. Tina’s perspective on the distinction between self-love and reverse racism. The most powerful appearance, in my opinion, was Master P who appears in conversation multiple times. Through various sound bytes he details the humble beginnings of No Limit Records as a door-to-door sales business and credits (wait for it) the Avon lady as his inspiration.
My only critique of “A Seat At The Table” is that could have been shorter. It felt like it was 3-4 songs too long but that could be me just nitpicking. In summation, I give it a 7 out of 10.
Also: Make sure you check out her visuals for “Cranes in the Sky” and “Don’t Touch My Hair” below
Cranes in the Sky
Don’t Touch My Hair