I can’t say that depression manifests itself in the same manner for everyone, but I can say that I completely relate to the litany of masks Solange uses to cover her own feeling of malaise in “Cranes in the Sky”’s lyrics. Retail therapy? My record collection (and a very popular Charlie Brown-featured meme) bears that out. Reading the sadness away? Fucking the blues out? Exercise? Travel? Done those too. Sometimes they works, sometimes they don’t. The identification is real, y’all.
At the end of the second verse, Solange says she’ll cry it away, and a chorus of Solanges sing in response “don’t you cry it, baby”. That specific part of the song tears me up, literally and figuratively. It alternately comforts me and breaks my heart. I’ve turned to “Cranes” quite often in the past few months, as it articulates my bluer feelings in a way not many songs are capable of.
I say this with absolutely no shade, “Cranes in the Sky” is, to me, the most emotionally affecting song made by any member of the extended Knowles family. I’m glad it upped Solange’s public profile, because I think she’s really someone special. And kudos to her and co-producer Raphael Saadiq for crafting an appropriately melancholy soundscape for this song.