As Black History Month comes to a close and Women's History Month kicks off, it's only appropriate for the one and only Solange to drop a new album. When I Get Home is a follow up to her critically successful A Seat at the Table. It seems to be a direct sequel. Their album covers are essentially the same in terms of tone and composition, which in turn, reflects the similar sounds and themes. It's black. It's feminist. It's gorgeous.
What's admirable about Solange's work is that it's never compared to her big sister's since she's single handedly created her own unique sound. They hold different standards, yet you can easily tell that they both put the same amount of work and focus into their music.
At it's core, When I Get Home is a jazz album that contains beautiful melodies, exciting chord progressions, and complex time signatures. It sounds almost as if the album was improvised on the spot with a near-perfect end result.
Solange also got a huge helping hand in her production game. She recruited Pharrell Williams, Metro Boomin, Tyler, The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), and Steve Lacy, just to name a few. In fact, in Pharrell's case, his production on Home may be his most ambitious yet. With typically "loud" names like these, the overall sound is electronic and minimalistic, but each producer leaves their signature in each track.
There are also a lot of guest appearances worth mentioning. Playboi Carti's verse on "Almeda" was unexpected, but didn't mess up the flow of the album. Sampha's outro on "Time (is)" fit right in elevated the song to another level. The biggest surprise came from Gucci Mane on "My Skin My Logo" in which he and Solange exchange playful verses about what each of them like. Solange almost loses it toward the end of her verse and you can't help but smile when you hear it.
When I Get Home is an earnest compilation of tracks laced together with necessary interludes that makes for an album that just might be better than A Seat at the Table. Solange knows how to make stripped down music sound so big and authoritative. Also, her repetition of specific lines in each song are done on purpose to get her point across and stick in the minds of her listeners. Empowering stuff. ★★★★
Key Tracks: "Stay Flo" | "Binz"
★★★★★ Classic | ★★★★ Excellent | ★★★ Good | ★★ Fair | ★ Poor
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