“A Seat at the Table” is Solange’s third studio album. Released on September 30, 2016, the album is a portrait of black anguish and triumph. The album includes 21 tracks and 8 collaborations including Sampha, the Dream, BJ the Chicago Kid, Master P and Q Tip. She is not just Beyoncé’s little sister, she is a woman with a story to tell.
The album is a mixture of 70’s Groove Funk and Neo-Soul. Solange’s smooth voice laments over a Jazzy-Funk-filled beat which can aptly be called the new age of Baduizm. The album is a testament of her blackness. She sings, or orders, from the song ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’, Don’t touch my hair/When it’s the feelings I wear/Don’t touch my soul/When it’s the rhythm I know.
Spoken word commentary by Master P appears throughout the album with 4 interludes which are ‘The Glory in You’, ‘Pedestal’, ‘For Us by Us’ and ‘The Chosen Ones’. In ‘Pedestal’, his rugged voice looms over a smooth, caramel like beat as he states, “I never cried or nothing, and that’s where the, ‘Make ’em say uhh uhh,’ that’s like my pain. That’s basically what it is. That’s my battle cry.” The album’s stand out track is ‘Cranes in the Sky’ which consists of lyrics that encompass sadness and pain as she laments about being a black woman in America. A powerful passage from the song is, I tried to let go my lover/ Thought if I was alone then maybe I could recover/ To write it away or cry it away/ Don’t you cry baby. The song is pure magic and it speaks to the soul. Solange revealed that the track is eight years old and she wrote it while she was depressed in her home in New Iberia, Louisiana. She goes on to reveal how she kept the song tucked away until the right time to release it which thankfully for her fans was this album.
This album offers you, just that, a seat at the table but at the black family’s dinner table and soul food is the main course. “A Seat at the Table” receives 10 stars out of 10 stars.