The message is clear through the title. A seat at a table has historically been deemed as having power, influence, control and privilege – attributes that those of colour have long been denied. A seat at the table has also been considered the gathering point – to celebrate, educate and connect.
Solange successfully conveys both experiences through her first full length in 8 years, addressing grief, empowerment and most importantly, identity through this 21- track autobiography of sorts.
The instrumentation is intricate, minimal yet lush with additions of horns, organs, guitars and even cowbell. Subtle RnB textures and an overwhelming sense of intimacy and liberation are felt as we are guided through interludes detailing racial encounters and punishment for celebrating black existence alongside narration from hip-hop legend Master P. Powerful collaborations from the likes of Sampha, Kelela, Lil Wayne, Q-Tip and many more. Lyrics that address acts of hate and supremacy but also words to celebrate the evolution of black pride, and encouragement for this expression to stretch beyond the years.
Solange has made an powerful return with third studio album A Seat at the Table. A true stand out of 2016, A Seat at the Table is a critical listen urged to be experienced in full, from start to finish.