by Azaria King
This is a year of black girl magic. With Rihanna’s Anti release and Beyoncé’s Lemonade drop, who knew it could get better? Released September 30th, Solange’s new album A Seat at The Table eloquently captures exactly what it means to be black in this country. Even more so, how she is able to capture the black girl narrative is astonishing. The album flows from one song to the next with multiple interludes that contribute effortlessly to the album as a whole. Classified as R&B/Soul, there are also classic funky tunes that one expects when thinking of Solange’s past work. Solange is truly a carefree black girl and the album reflects that. Every part of it invokes feelings of wearing bright colors, long, flowy skirts, and letting your hair blow in the wind.
Some stand out tracks include:
“Weary”: “I’m weary of the ways of the world.” Solange’s vocals in this song are soft and the lyrics are ones you should listen to closely. At this time in our country, a time of consecutive weariness, I think a lot of people can relate to this song. Solange puts our feelings into thoughtful, melodious words.
“Cranes In The Sky”: For me, this song speaks of self-care: “I tried to dance it away/ I tried to change it with my hair/ …but that just made me even sadder.” It is difficult to be ourselves in this world and sometimes we don’t even know who that is. Even if we do, at every corner we are being suppressed, and that is difficult to deal with. With that said, it is important to take care of ourselves the best way we know how and this song touches on that.
“Don’t Touch My Hair”: The title speaks for itself; need I say more? “They don’t understand/ what it means to me/ where we chose to go/ where we meant to go.” This song goes deeper than the surface argument of having to deal with people just asking to feel our hair. For us, our hair is part of who we are. The styles, the length, etc. are all a huge part of what it is to be black. Solange and Sappha capture the true beauty of that in this song.
“Junie”: iTunes describes this song as “a glimmer of merriment in a exquisite portrait of sadness.” This song is a groovy, upbeat song that you can easily dance to.
As if the vocal album wasn’t enough, A Seat at The Table is accompanied with a visual album as well. It is as stunning as one would expect. Most famously, the video for “Cranes In The Sky” consists of bright colors, gorgeous black women, and striking imagery.
Solange really has outdone herself.