Being the sister of the Diva of soul must not be an easy place to be for Solange Knowles. A bit like Beyoncé’s ex-bandmates of Destiny’s Child, she is bound to have her music constantly compared with her famous sister. But there isn’t that many things in common with Beyoncé’s music. We can totally consider as an artist in her own right, just like we would if she had other parents.

“A Seat at the Table” is a calm album in which Solange’s voice shines. Songs like Cranes in The Sky showcase her talent without her seeming to try to be somebody else. The song ends with a couple of high notes à la Mariah Carey but up to there, her music was keeping her in the good side of soul pop music, with a jazzy feel. Obviously, Solange’s voice is the centre of the attention here, but great beats and piano chords on songs like Mad or Weary make her sound more like Alicia Keys.

 

The general mood of “A Seat at the Table” is very cool. It’s a chill album more than a performance one, which is very nice in this type of r’n’b pop music. Solange obviously had a beautiful strong voice but she never forces things (Don’t You Wait). There are also many interludes although the record, which showcase conversations with a few high-end guests that seemed to have been recorded while chatting around the coffee table. Here we hear Tina Turner talking about how being proud to be Black isn’t putting down White culture, it’s just a celebration.

Solange links up with Don’t Touch My Hear, a soft minimalist song that picks up at the choruses. This one could have been written by Prince as the awkward funk sounds like his material.

“A Seat at the Table” isn’t the best album of the year, but it could be easily thrown in a mix with Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Lianne La Havas and Kelis, just to name a few.

solange video

(photo Alan Ferguson)

The Houston-born singer is now 30. On her Wikipedia page, we learn that at age 16, Knowles released her first studio album “Solo Star” (2002). Between 2005 and 2007, Knowles had several minor acting roles, including the direct-to-video Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006) and continued writing music for her older sister Beyonce Knowles-Carter and for ex-Destiny’s Child band members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Her second studio album “Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams” (2008) went to the Motown Sound of the 1960s and 1970s. She followed this up with the 1980s pop and R&B–inspired extended play “True” in 2012.

solange a seat at the table

SOLANGE
A Seat at the Table
(Columbia, 2016)

-Genre: soul r’n’b pop
-In the same zone than Alicia Keys, Prince, Lianne La Havas, Rihanna

Buy the album on the artist’s Google Play page
Follow the artist via her Facebook page
Listen to videos on the artist’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.