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SOLANGE

Stephanie Phillips

Why Solange Matters

    The dramatic story of Solange: a musician and artist whose unconventional journey to international success was far more important than her family name.

    Growing up in the shadow of her superstar sister, Beyonce, and defying an industry that attempted to bend her to its rigid image of a Black woman, Solange Knowles has become a pivotal musician and artist in her own right. In Why Solange Matters, Stephanie Phillips chronicles the creative journey of Solange, a beloved voice of the Black Lives Matter generation.

    A Black feminist punk musician herself, Phillips addresses not only the unpredictable trajectory of Solange's career but also how she and other Black women see themselves through the musician's repertoire. First, she traces Solange's progress through an inflexible industry, charting the artist's development up to 2016, when the release of her third album, A Seat at the Table, redefined her career. With this record and, then, When I Get Home (2019), Phillips describes how Solange has embraced activism, anger, Black womanhood and intergenerational trauma to inform her remarkable art.

    'Why Solange Matters is a significant and sober treatist on popular music . . . This book is more than necessary.' - THURSTON MOORE

    Although she started her musical career fifteen years ago, at the tender age of fifteen, it's taken some time for Solange to hit her stride. Early albums saw the youthful singer in awe of her big sister (Beyonce for the three people in the world who didn't know, and Barry), trying in vain to emulate the glistening R&B of Bey, Kelly and Michelle. As she matured, Solange explored fashion, first as a model, then as a designer with her House Of Deréon fashion line, gradually defining her own aesthetic and identity in the process. All of which means, that in 2k16, Solange is ready to mark her mark on the musical map with a career defining, world changing LP of boundary pushing soul. While the charts are filled with the throbbing basslines and skittering hats of trap and EDM, Solange has served up an organic, original set of sincere and spiritual soul built on warm bass, delicate piano and inspired synth melodies. Then there's her voice; intimate, crystal clear and packed with emotion, perfectly narating the struggles of life in the modern world. One minute into "Cranes In The Sky" and I was nearly in tears, it is SUBLIME. Visually, sonically and thematically unique, this is a perfect LP of accessible RnB and fully deserves its place as a future classic. You WILL remember where you were the first time you heard this, and you'll fall deeper in love with every subsequent listen. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: The younger Knowles sister bursts out Beyonce’s shadow with a sublime LP of serious, sensitive soul and precise, on point RnB. Populist and artistic, this has all the hallmarks of an enduring classic.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Rise
    2. Weary
    3. Interlude: The Glory Is In You
    4. Cranes In The Sky
    5. Interlude: Dad Was Mad
    6. Mad - Solange Feat. Lil Wayne
    7. Don't You Wait
    8. Interlude: Tina Taught Me
    9. Don't Touch My Hair - Solange Feat. Sampha
    10. Interlude: This Moment
    11. Where Do We Go
    12. Interlude: For Us By Us
    13. F.U.B.U. - Solange Feat. The Dream And BJ The Chicago Kid
    14. Borderline (An Ode To Self Care) - Solange Feat. Q-Tip / Solange
    15. Interlude: I Got So Much Magic, You Can Have It - Solange Feat. Kelly Rowland And Nia Andrews
    16. Junie
    17. Interlude: No Limits
    18. Don't Wish Me Well
    19. Interlude: Pedestals
    20. Scales - Solange Feat. Kelela
    21. Closing: The Chosen Ones


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