November 2, 2016

Solange's 'A Seat at the Table' is the Album of the Year

When released, A Seat at the Table from Solange, the musically artistic younger sister of Beyonce, revealed that the lead single was created 8 years ago. She talked about the "timing" of the song. We loosely call Cranes in the Sky a lead single because the song right now is not heard on the radio even though it's very popular on many personal playlists. About the only place we have heard Cranes was on The Steve Harvey Morning Show. But the number one downloaded album from an African American artist this year ain't being heard nowhere else on the radio.  (It won't be the first time a critically acclaim album received little to no airplay. Oh well let's move on.) The album has Grammy written all over it.

"Timing. I wrote "Cranes in The Sky" 8 years ago.
It was 8 years ago @raphael_saadiq handed me a cd with a few instrumentals. One was just drums, strings, and bass. I went home and wrote "Cranes" that night in my hotel room.
When I finished writing and creating #aseatatthetable in a little house in New Iberia, Louisiana.....I revisited "Cranes" once again. I called Raphael that night and asked if he would help me to elevate the production of the album to see its fullest potential. I am so happy 8 years later Cranes is out in the world."

Gone are the days when the Billboard Charts mirrored what's heard on the radio. Billboard, the industry site that monitors recorded music popularity, had this to report on the debut of A Seat at the Table.

"Solange crowns the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with her latest set, A Seat At The Table, six songs from the album arrive on the Hot R&B Songs chart. It’s the first time that the singer has appeared on the four-year-old, 25-position list. The arrivals are led by “Cranes In The Sky,” which bows at No. 11. The entrance is powered by 5.3 million U.S. weekly streams in the week ending Oct. 9, according to Nielsen Music. Of all the tracks on the album, the song accumulated the most weekly clicks. It also had the highest digital sales, with 7,000 downloads contributing to its rank.

Cranes” is followed by “Don’t Touch My Hair,” featuring Sampha, at No. 14 (4.9 million streams and 4,000 downloads). Both debuts have official music videos that were released in tandem on Oct. 2. To date, “Don’t Touch My Hair” leads in global views with 5.5 million, while “Cranes” follows with 3.3 million. Over on the Billboard Hot 100, the two leading songs become Solange’s first ever entries, with “Cranes” arriving at No. 74 and “Hair” bowing at No. 91. Solange 'A Seat at the Table' Read More Solange Scores Her First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'A Seat at the Table'

Here are Solange’s debuts on Hot R&B Songs:
Position, Title
No. 11, “Cranes In The Sky”
No. 14, “Don’t Touch My Hair,” featuring Sampha
No. 17, “Mad,” featuring Lil Wayne
No. 19, “Weary”
No. 22, “F.U.B.U., “ featuring The-Dream and BJ The Chicago Kid
No. 25, “Rise”

This music pushes the envelope in a musical genre that seems to have gone stale for the better part of this decade. In an era that celebrates a formulaic approach that is designed for radio airplay rather than artistic appeal, the following two tracks are a breath of fresh air. She articulates our experiences. Who hasn't been where Solange sings and writes about in Cranes in the Sky?

 Great work from Solange and producer Raphael Saadiq.

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