"Melodies of Melanin"
At the tail end of September, Solange released her third studio album called A Seat at the Table. This 21-track album was the perfect project to accent both the progressive music world, and the extraordinary times of our lives right now. Solange was able to create a musically smooth album themed around the essence of black culture, more specifically: black womanhood. A Seat at the Table is a very cohesive album made of passion-driven lyrics and effortless melodies. The album is narrated by No Limit mastermind and super entrepreneur Master P. Some of the things that Master P talk about throughout the album are the importance of understanding black culture, racial issues in our society, and stories of becoming successfully self-made. Aside from dialogue from Master P, Solange was able to incorporate her parent's stories and perspectives on the topic of black empowerment as well. With these excerpts acting as the background of the album, Solange expresses her perspectives on the topic throughout the entire piece. From the misunderstanding of the culture she speaks on in "Dont Touch My Hair" to the exhaustion of relationship confusion and struggles in "Cranes in the Sky", this album reaches many different elements. Next to the fitting theme of the album, the sounds and features on the album are on premium status as well. Artists on the album include, Q-Tip, The-Dream, Lil Wayne & Kelly Rowland to name a few. The production on the album is made of mellow jazz sounds and soothing piano sounds. Some of the architects behind the sounds are co-producer: Raphael Saadiq, with Questlove, Q-Tip and Sampha (responsible for work with D'Angelo, The Roots, Whitney Houston and Kanye West). Solange also took time to put her own spin on the album by writing and co-producing on every track. Overall Solange Knowles was able to step further form her sister's shadow by creating an necessary album full of creativity and individuality. A few of my favorite moments on the project include the confession of frustration by Wayne on "Mad", and the smooth alternative blend throughout "Don't Wish Me Well".