It’s the offbeat that gets us to lean our heads, wonder, wonder again or, at least, say to ourselves huh? or hm!. Just like the dancing in Solange’s Don’t Touch My Hair is. A little bit offbeat. An interesting bit of a beat. Now read this last sentence, fast, en français.
When people do, exactly, what they feel like doing, usually, something very pretty comes out and a lot of the times, something unique, actually, does.
It seems like, for this video, they didn’t stress the… stiffness (?) of the video while brainstorming. In fact, they seem to not have cared about it at all. Who would, I know… The perfect frames, the superb lighting, the sensorial choice of clothes and accessories, the unexpected, but so pleasantly found filming angles, all combined with lyrics and ~ hair ~ create a balance thanks to, precisely, this apparent freestyle dancing. It’s something in the move of the body.
Just like in real life is. Just like life in a video is.
So we live a life like a videooo...
Solange and the beautiful cast of dancers sway back and forth between frames, moving in soft, elegant steps with the warm harmonies and falsetto. The general tone is gentle, yet strong. Just as their facial expressions are. Just as the overall message is. Don’t Touch My Hair is the ninth track on Solange Knowles’ third studio album, A Seat At The Table.
It sounds and it looks good. Different.
And things that are different, sometimes, just won’t let you do the tough paper work when working from home. Or anywhere. They will make you want to explore. See. Hear. Put them on paper and, only after, get on with the paper work or anything that feels like work. Via Instagram Story.
Solange may not be the next Apple, not everyone out there has to and that doesn’t seem to be her desire anyway. She does what she wants and it’s not just because she’s Beyoncé’s sister that she gets to do what she wants. It’s because… Great for her that she does.
It feels so and what we feel, sometimes, is more valuable than what we see or hear. We know.
And there’s only one Beyoncé, anyway. One Apple. One Nike. One love. Now you might think Here she goes again, but ~ huh! ~ it was all there from the start. From the offbeat. Don’t Touch My Hair is from 2016 anyway.
Oh, something that is very old, but looks very contemporary or very contemporary that looks very old, it’s looking for the timeless, is something I recently heard Axel Vervoordt saying here:
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever young
When originality ~ directly connected to our true selves, to our souls ~ prevails, beware, because this is what can happen:
Rolling Stone said the track uses sparkling synths and drowsy horns as broadsides against those who might deny Knowles and other black women their bodily autonomy, conveying a message of brutal honesty in tender and rich harmonies.
Pitchfork Magazine wrote that Don’t Touch My Hair moves at a heartbeat’s pulse, subtle and steady, yet vibrant and can be read as an explicit rejection of this behavior (the devalue and alienation of black spaces), as a simple establishment of boundaries, or as a powerful pledge of personal identity.
The Huffington Post gave the song a positive review, highlighting in particular the importance of its message of praising black women’s hair during such a socially volatile period: Hair is used as a metaphor for our entire essence on this track and is the perfect symbol, as our hair is one thing that has always been policed throughout history and into the present.
Vogue Magazine found the song to be an uplifting message about hair, and noted how its message relates to a specific community while also being accessible and relevant to the broader community of women in general.
When I Get Home is a different story. Stay tuned. Tunefulness. Nice word, huh? It’s a synonym for harmony.
Your time, sing.