Solange – A Seat at the Table

solange-seat-at-the-tableTaking sister Beyoncé’s lead, Solange Knowles’ latest album is filled with musings concerning what it means to be a person of colour in the United States in the year 2016. Though the tone is largely political there are some personal stuff about self-identity and body shaming as well. “Don’t Touch My Hair” deals with black female hair and all that it entails, “Mad” is about alienation and “Don’t You Wait” encourages people to eliminate harmful people from their lives. What keeps it very effective is the simplicity of the message. It also works because she is not shouting her message from the hilltops. Keeping things rather muted (this means words as well as vocals) works in this instance. Maybe because it really forces you to listen and absorb the lyrics. Whatever the reason behind it, Solange and her co-producer Rapahel Saadiq have made absolutely the right choice. The restrained R&B sound on A Seat at the Table demonstrates that it is aware of the history of the musical genre and tips its cap to all that came before it. Also, there is an awareness that R&B music has always taken its part in social commentary and change. Solange has taken a large step out of the huge musical shadow cast by her much more famous sibling.

 

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