Review: Cranes In The Sky Drips Good Juice For Soul

Culture, Music

The video for Solange’s new single ‘Cranes in The Sky’ was directed by Solange and her husband Alan Ferguson, with the aid of photographer Carlota Guerrero whose style permeates the wave of film inspiration this film student needed, and found while watching.

Their shots are in the same vein of movement, style, creativity and femininity that’s been filling up my black book all year, it’s exiting to see! There are about 30 different frames used to compile the complete song; working like a sultry montage that translates as sweet with the piano keys in the track; and strong with the power of Solange’s voice — it all just pushes her power as a major contributor to contemporary pop culture further and harder.

The unapologetic presence of her work ethic is inspiring as shown in the making-of teaser below. I like that she is a solid, tall looking vessel of a woman; comfortable, confident and matter of fact in her approach – which is kind of an oxymoron because her approach feels effortless and nothing like she’s working at all. But, I’d imagine this is the craft of being a pop star; like she humbly knows it’s good, all of it. Both her release videos,Don’t Touch My Hair and Cranes In The Skyare a pleasure and inspiration to see because they both show Solange boldly owning her space, watch her embody a freedom dance with producer, Sampha HERE.

I like the sense of organic, non-constructed beauty in the project, contrasted with the gentle pastel pallet; mixed with a sense that there is strength in showing vulnerability. I like the bold femininity and the sensitive subjects addressed with no sorry or fucks given about how a hater might feel about it. A Seat At The Table features the track ‘F.U.B.U’ (for us by us), it pays tribute to the classic smoker film, How High and sweetly coos, “All my niggas in the whole wide world, play this song and sing it on your terms, for us, this shit is for us”..  I love this side of Solange, she’s real, too real.

Master P also narrates the album with no prompts or hints regarding his own public status, like he and Solange are two homies who appreciate a common understanding; like when he gets deep on a level that addresses how black people don’t get rehab, “We have to rehab ourselves”, he says.

The production features credits from Sampha, Raphael Sadiq and others. The making of video shows Solange freestyling and building her songs over a span of three years. In another interview she said she wanted to make an ode to Mary Jane with a feminine touch, something she has done as a woman, rather than a girl – it promises a budding creative future for females still slugging away in a predominantly male saturated arena.

Solange basically honed in on everything that matters to her demographic with this release and promoted her community with subtle visual elements representing friendship, camaraderie, social consciousness and a hunger for minds to be more open in the public sphere. It is an album that drips a rich, concentrated good-juice by letting itself into the minds of the socially conscious and settling into the hearts of those craving political change and a more heart-felt approach to issues being faced globally.

Solange has said the album is a “confessional autobiography and meditation on being black in America” and that “she doesn’t believe that protest is just marching in the street but that protest can be creation.”

It is an album for those who can recognise there is a bubbling for positive change happening beyond newsfeeds, worldwide; under little rocks in communities all over, there is proof in projects and work like this that artists, musicians, clothing designers, web designers and more are crying out for more inclusiveness, less racism and less bigotry in the world; this is for people looking forward to a time when the mainstream can experience real culture without it needing to be appropriated first; it is an album for those who know that if these kinds of projects keep making small waves only — the opposite to what their creators intended — then there may just be a war instead of a revolution.

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