Solange - When I Get Home
When I Get Home
It's got to be extremely difficult to be Beyonce's little sister. Not only that but imagine being in the same industry and trying to compete with someone who is without a doubt one of the biggest names in the world, and you've had to share a house with them for the first part of your life. It doesn't leave you with many options, you can either try to do exactly what they do or go in a totally different direction. Early on Solange felt like she was chasing her big sister, putting out Pop songs that were anemic and lacking any kind of substance. It seemed like that's where things would be left, but then suddenly in 2016 A Seat At the Table changed all that. She said goodbye to childish things and to imitation and instead offered us wild experimentation, jazzy interludes and the sense that Solange was more than someone's sister. "Nothing Without Intention (interlude)" feels like an exploration of Black music, setting the stage for "Almeda" a celebration of Blackness. Solange refuses to be reduced, both in her music and as a human. She looks at the way people are treated differently simply because of the way they look and it doesn't fit her world, nor should it. It's protest music like when she says her black skin can't be washed away "even by that Florida water". She has the ability to take these complex and emotionally charged ideas and make them incredibly artistic and poetic. "Almeda" also brings in a form of trap drums for it's beat making this album feel like a walk through the entire history of African American music.
"My Skin is My Logo" featuring Gucci Mane finds Gucci stepping far out of his comfort zone and rapping over this disparate jazz beat. The sentiment is a great one, allowing your person to represent who you are rather than some brand name on your chest. Gucci does feel a little out of his element, but you have to respect the risk taking. Everything about this record feels risky, from the gentle drum beats to the whispered lyrics. You feel like you are in on a secret, a part of music that other people just don't understand, nor do you want them to. It's not just thoughts that feel free and wild on this album it's the music as well. On "Binz" this bright sparkly synth run is imitated by Solange's vocal, and on "Beltway" she hums while the track skitters into many different directions. There is a classic warm feel to this record, but songs like "Sound of Rain" are entirely modern. This album, and this new Solange is just so inherently warm and good you can't help but by in. While When I Get Home is not as incredible as A Seat at the Table it still continues down this path of wild open hearted experimentation that fits Solange perfectly.
8.8 out of 10