I had to let this album sit with me before I reviewed it. I knew as soon as “Weary” came on that we, as in the music heads, would be more than ok. Its been more than a few rough years for black folks in America, so much frustration, so much hurt, so much pain, anger, and neglect from a land our ancestors put their backs, sweat, tears, fears and conflicted work ethic into.
Beyonce’s more than large spotlight has been cast over Solange’s head in many music fans heads since Solange attempted a solo debut in 2003. I always half seemingly felt bad for her because she so badly wanted to be taken seriously as an artist but it always felt forced. Until now. I could always tell Solange was on some other shit that was too far gone for the public, especially Beyonce fans. Much like Janet, Solange had to find her place in the pop world along side a superstar sibling and finally she has arrived, laid out her own red carpet and assumed the place to wreck shit musically.
From the opening skit I instantly KNEW this album would become important to black life and pop culture while life changing for her. The music business needed this record, black America needed it even more. After the deaths of #Oscar, #Trayvon, #Tamir, #Mike, #Alton, #Sandra, #Philando, #Terrence the world was becoming to heavy to process and the anger continued to suppress us as a people with each death. This album took time, it took moments to collect words to fully convey in an intelligent matter of fact way to the world, and she more that delivered.
I’m a black woman with one child much like Solange. I am more concerned than frightened about the state of affairs if you’re black in this country. I’m concerned about the perceptions that others have of me racially as well as my child. Welcome to a Seat At the Table. If you have friends who haven’t a clue about how race affects one individually play this album for them. From the opening intro into “Weary” which initially was my personal fav into “Cranes in the Sky” (at the moment its my go to jam) to songs like “Where Do We Go” and “Junie” that have this irresistible groove to “Scales”, “Don’t Touch My Hair” that are just chill but add so much to the climate of the song melodically, I just cannot get enough of this album. I literally play it almost everyday and mostly in the shower to start my day, while I’m doing my hair (go figure) and in the car. I had my reservations about Solange in the beginning because I just didn’t get why she moved the way she did musically but I’m so glad I didn’t let that deter me from giving this album a chance.
Most times interludes become tiresome but here they fit perfectly. Master P to me at least was an odd out of nowhere pairing but when you bust down his significance to being self-made and uncompromising it makes sense. He’s the epitome of New Orleans and the music sets the tone with the sparred horns. His words hit, dice and connect with the music so perfectly.
I said on Instagram that this is Solange’s Control and RN1814 wrapped in one and that Sampha & Raphael Saadiq are her 2016 millennial Jam & Lewis. I hope she sticks it out with Saadiq for another album because their musical chemistry is THERE and evident in each song they collaborated on.
If you haven’t heard this album, shame on you. A flawless work of art start to finish and she has much to be proud of.
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