Before the release of A Seat at the Table, Solange Knowles described the record as a project on identity, empowerment, independence, grief and healing. The project is not a small one, either. At 21 tracks long, this album could have perhaps even been released as a double album, allowing the treasure trove of sounds and emotions an interval for a listener to collect themselves, but Solange’s stripped-back approach makes this record so accessible that it absolutely wasn’t necessary. A Seat at the Table is intensely rich and gracious in its candor, so much so that it’s quieter, painstakingly personal moments are every bit as robust as direct aggression. Its soulful flow is luscious and languid, and simply dazzles in the graceful, airy beauty of Cranes In the Sky, where Solange’s voice floats to stratospheric altitudes. A Seat at the Table is an ode to the struggle of a black woman in 2016 and its importance in the here and now, and it has made itself a candidate for the upper echelons of many an end of year list. Musically, there is no doubt who the more captivating Knowles sister is.
[FIRST PUBLISHED ON NO RIPCORD]