Author: Joycelynn Okezie
SOLANGE • A SEAT AT THE TABLE
A confessional autobiography and meditation on being black in America, this album finds Solange searching for answers within a set of achingly lovely funk tunes.
She finds intensity behind the patient grooves of “Weary,” expresses rage through restraint in “Mad,” and draws strength from the naked vulnerability of “Where Do We Go.”
The spirit of Prince hovers throughout, especially over “Junie,” a glimmer of merriment in an exquisite portrait of sadness. ‘A Seat At The Table’ features the likes of Lil Wayne, Sampha, The-Dream, BJ The Chicago Kid and Kelela.
Solange Knowles, the younger sister of Beyoncé Knowles, studied dance and theater as a child and made her singing debut at age five at an amusement park.
As her father managed her sister’s emerging R&B group, Destiny’s Child, she often appeared as an opening act and began writing songs.
At 13, she decided to pursue a professional singing career, but her parents at first advised her to wait. Shortly afterward, however, she was called upon to replace one of the dancers in Destiny’s Child’s stage act on short notice. She spent the next two years dancing in the group’s performances.
When she was 16, her father signed her to his Music World label and helped prepare her for a solo recording career. Her debut single, “Feelin’ You, Pt. 2,” was released in late 2002, reached Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and had more success with club DJs; it narrowly missed the top of Billboard’s club chart. Her first album, Solo Star, followed in January 2003 and debuted in the Top 50 of the Billboard 200.
Five years later, the singer made something of a creative breakthrough with her second album. Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams did not materialize until late August 2008, but it was much more unique than its predecessor, steeped in mid- to late-’60s soul.
It peaked in the Top Ten of the Billboard 200 and doubled the sales of the debut. Despite how it fared, Solange subsequently went independent. After she signed with Grizzly Bear member Chris Taylor’s Terrible label, she released the funkier yet more new wave-inspired “Losing You” single, as well as its parent EP, True, in late 2012.
Genres: R&B/Soul, Music
Released: Sep 30, 2016