It’s the type of album that speaks to your soul. Reminiscent of pre-millennium musical artistry, it brings you back to your childhood and early teens – when life’s problems were solved by a pair of your favorite cushioned headphones and your favorite CD in your discman on repeat. It’s the type of album you’d spend hours at the mall in Sam Goody listening to song samples of, and feeling as if you’ve reached the highest plateau of contentment when you’re walking out of the store with it in all its shrinked-wrapped glory. You’d spend the night with the album. Its songs playing as loud in your small boombox as you were allowed, as you curl up with your pillow, eyes closed in your bed. During those moments, it didn’t matter how angry you were. It didn’t matter that you were hurting. It was as if nothing outside those walls – outside those sounds ever troubled you. In that moment, the songs spoke to you, and you were just glad someone finally understands. That is A Seat at The Table by Solange Knowles. It is that album.
Solange Knowles debuted her 3rd studio album last week, and the sheer depth and beauty of it is beyond understanding. Her first album in 8 years, A Seat at The Table shocked critics and fans alike and wasted no time climbing the top of the charts, debuting at #1 and topping her famous sister who’s album had spent the last 24 weeks occupying the top spot.
Solange’s album is more than just music. Her range and growth as a vocalist is undeniable. But the album itself speaks to all of the social issues that plague Black America and have for over 2 centuries during a time when race relations in America are at an all time low. That is quite a feat, and A Seat at The Table by Solange Knowles accomplishes it effortlessly.
With songs titled Don’t Touch My Hair which speaks to the soul of ‘Black hair’ and our disdain for others suddenly and without warning touching it. Don’t Touch My Hair goes beyond expressing disdain and proclaiming no. It explains it. Lovingly. Deeply. And passionately. In a way that no one else ever could. There’s Mad. In which Solange achingly questions her own right to be mad about racial injustice. Her voice beautifully lilting over the song’s melody, Solange reflects on being questioned about her restrained rage and vulnerably concludes she, like much of Black America, “has a lot to be mad about.” Then there’s Where Do We Go? which goes beyond stating there is a problem plaguing our country and our homes, and asks how can we solve it, and F.U.B.U. an ode to defunct urban apparel company ‘For Us Buy Us’ that shines the light on racial profiling and the pain of living wrong simply for living Black and calls on racial unity. It’s an amazing album, and one I am so very proud to own.
A Seat at The Table by Solange Knowles is a modern-day work of art. Never has an artist been able to speak to the heart of all of Black America on all things that matter, in a musical composition of 15 3-4 minute songs since the life and death of Tupac. The album is daring, naked and bold. If you have not listened to it, it is a must. Listen to Solange Knowles’ latest album, A Seat at The Table here.
I am so proud of Solange. It is evident that she worked very hard to release her greatest work, and she deserves every bit of the acclaim she is currently receiving. Have you listened to her album, yet? Did you like it? I’d love to hear what you think about it.