By now, those who are current on their soul music are pretty much aware of the latest album by Solange, “A Seat At the Table.” In short, this album is unapologetically black–as in–black as the ace of spades (for all of my Black Dynamite aficionados). While this album doesn’t bear any sonic resemblance to Donnie’s “The Colored Section,” it still hits familiar notes–“This is my experience,” “This is my truth,” “If you can’t relate, that’s your problem.”
This album utilizes exclusionary inclusion, defiance, and soulful harmonies to set the soundscape that is “A Seat At The Table.” Aside from that, this LP is refreshingly simple in its honesty. It doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be anything other than what it is, which is not nearly as commonplace as it should be in my humble estimation.
I also feel like the laid back vibe of the album is reminiscent of early Badu (think “Drama”) and vintage Amel Larrieux. “Don’t Touch My Hair” is probably one of the most easily accessible songs, as the title aptly addresses how many of us have felt when someone feels the desire to reach out and touch without permission. If Solange had decided to sing that refrain, she would have sold most listeners, but she she wisely decided to take things deeper.
While the vast majority of the lyrics aren’t complex, I don’t feel they need to be. The melodies and the grooves paired with Solange’s vocals create a vibe to simply zone out to. This LP is great to work to, drive to, lounge to–it stays in the pocket and doesn’t change gears unnecessarily like some LPs that might be trying to capture different audiences (Club jam, radio jam, etc.). This album just is. If you can dig it–then this will be in your rotation–if not–well….0