A Seat At The Table, in some ways, isn't an album that's "for me." Its songs and spoken interludes feed into a nuanced emotional arc about both Solange's personal experiences and the broader experience of being black in this country, ranging from weariness and anger to pride and a growing sense of empowerment. To take things literally, one of the songs is titled "F.U.B.U" ("for us, by us"), and it is full of references to everyday instances of racial discrimination - like being confronted with uneasy skepticism just for trying to board a plane - that I will never have to experience.
Not everything has to be about me, or ought to be about me, of course. This blog alone should be a sufficient outlet for my outrageous self absorption. And while it is almost certainly the case that this album will resonate more deeply with people whose life experiences more closely mirror Solange's, I was still enthralled at points while listening.
"Cranes in the Sky," in particular, is stunning. Focusing on a list of failed coping mechanisms is a deft way to convey the extent of the pain that she's felt throughout her life, but there is still a tinge of hopefulness to the song, as it imparts the sense that she' is gong to keep moving forward even when things are difficult. It's going to stick with me in a way that most songs don't.