Label: Saint, Columbia
Released: Sept. 30

Five years after releasing her EP True, Solange dropped A Seat at the Table, filled with gorgeous, haunting visuals. While True was dancey pop with an undercurrent of loss and longing, A Seat at the Table strips away that EP’s upbeat feel for a more mellow, wistful R&B sound and songs that examine the trials and triumphs of being black in America. Much of that work is done in the interludes: Master P tells the story of his rise in the music industry; Solange’s mother, Tina Knowles, explains what it means to be proudly pro-black, despite how frustrating the reactions to that sentiment can be; and her father/former manager Mathew Knowles talks about growing up “angry” after experiencing segregation. It’s a vital album for our current political climate, anchored by Solange’s angelic vocals and incredible lyrics.

As she croons on “F.U.B.U,” she made A Seat at the Table because “some shit is for us.” But everyone else is lucky to listen. —Kerensa Cadenas