Author: Zoe Ettinger
When I Get Home welcomes you into the vast and beautiful dreamscape of Solange’s mind. After A Seat at the Table, she certainly had a lot to live up to, and she doesn’t disappoint.
When I Get Home starts with Things I Imagined, a smooth track with understated psychedelic beats, reminiscent of famous french duo, Air’s, debut album, Moon Safari. Additionally, along with each song is video of the artist herself, grounding her more deeply in the work. By adding visuals along with sound, the listener is taken by two senses, transfixed in Solange.
The album is inherently linked to her hometown, Houston, and there are references to it throughout. Like her last album, she includes interludes that provide background voices of those she wants heard. The first, S McGregor, samples Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad in Superstars and Their Moms. It says: “And now my heart knows no delight I boarded a train kissed all goodbye”. It’s about the magic and melancholy of leaving home. In Can I Hold the Mic, there’s a sample from BTS Crime Mobb Footage, which preludes her own vocals about the complexity of expressing herself as a woman of “too many manifestations”.
The production in this album is complex. Synthesizers, drum beats, and a series of samples are present throughout. Way to the Show takes a funkier turn, with a reference to the candy paint jobs (“candy paint down to the floor”) present in Houston culture. In Stay Flo, the track is reminiscent of a slowed down Destiny’s Child song, easy to jam to, and features Metro Boomin, one of the many collaborators of the album. Dreams and Almeda are the best examples of Solange’s vocal talent. Dreams is soft and childlike, while Almeda, featuring Pharrell, is strong and mature; the words of black female power.