Are you angry yet? Because, by the way, you should be. All those dead babies in Aleppo, the black Americans gunned down for walking on the streets where they live, the UK government turning into pearl-and-twinset clad fascists overnight — closing the borders, asking schools to collect the names and birth-places of foreign-born children (so that, presumably, we can pin yellow stars to the the foreigners and make sure they’re easier to abuse in the street). I’m fucking furious. And so is Solange.

And the sweet precision of her anger is the meat of ‘A Seat at the Table’, her third album, which dropped on Friday. It’s brilliant. I can’t emphasise that enough. It’s surprising and clever and current. But its real genius resides in Solange’s radical political voice — she veils her anger in a soft, soulful sound that even her detractors will find hard to ignore.

‘A Seat at the Table’ celebrates black survival in the face of systemic global oppression, collaging the real-life stories of her friends and family members (featured as a series of spoken interludes) with a fierce, delicate collection of not-quite-RnB tracks that speak back to power with a strength that is both beautiful and unexpected.

Stand out songs include ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ — on which Solange refuses to be objectified; owning the black experience, gently reminding us that there will be no peace until our bodies are our own – and ‘Mad’, a funny frank assertion of our fundamental right to rage; Solange’s silky, ethereal high-notes undercut the straight, street sounds of Lil Wayne, suggesting that feminine fury has a distinctive potency all of its own.

If I were you, I would stop what I were doing and listen to this record. Now.


More from