Solange surprises the world with the release of “When I Get Home” — a nineteen track album that serves as a follow-up to the fantastic “A Seat At The Table.”
HONORABLE MENTION. JERROD/BINZ I love “Jerrod!” (Not him, the song) On it, Solange soothingly lets her boo know that he can have all of her love, even if that means she has none left for herself. What an unselfish soul she is! I enjoy the serene instrumental that powers “Jerrod” and how lost in love Solange sounds both lyrically and vocally on it. I also love how “Binz,” the following track, picks up from where the song left off.
Solange is as pro-black as Jim Brown, which is why it didn’t surprise me at all to hear her praise our culture extensively on “Almeda.”
Us as black people hate when you put us in a box, and I feel like “Almeda” is one of those tracks that says f**k your box! The song’s structure seems all over the place, Solange’s lyrical content sounds erratic, and the instrumental attached to the song is as rebellious as it gets! Though the concoction makes for one of the weirdest s**t you’ve ever heard in your life, it also makes you feel proud as hell you are black.
Is that Playboi Carti or MADEINTYO at the end of this song? No, I know who that is, that’s Roscoe from Martin! (Update: It’s The-Dream and Playboi Carti)
There are great vocal performances by Solange on this album, but I’m not sure there was one better than what she put up on “Dreams.” Backed by this hazy/slow-paced instrumental, the Houston native practically daydreams on the mic, singing high-pitched from start to finish. Matter of fact, how sure are we she wasn’t on anesthesia when she made this song?
3. STAY FLO
“Stay Flo” has about three different vibes attached to it: A gentle, gritty and hazy one. This allows Solange to show several different sides of her artistry. My favorite side she gives us is the one that sounds like she’s ready to go to war with anyone that even looks at her. Welp, I’m taking the stairs the rest of the day.
This is the type of song that gets better after every listen. It’s also the type of song that can be enjoyed in many different settings. I can see it being played at a fashion show just as much as a house party.
2. WAY TO THE SHOW
Solange has never sounded sexier than she does on “Way To The Show.”
“Way To The Show” is powered by this tumultuous instrumental that literally sounds like it doesn’t know what to do with itself. Over this instrumental, Solange lets loose, reminding her love to call her on his way to her show so they can do the Taki Taki. What I love about the track is that Solange is willing to let her guard down on it, openly admitting that even she has her moments where lust occupies her mental capacity. I also love how detailed she is when it comes to her desires, finding many different ways to sound thirstier than an athlete that just played a triple overtime game.
If my woman sounded like Solange does on this song when I talk to her on the phone, I would do my best to email myself to her.
1. DOWN WITH THE CLIQUE
Though “Down With The Clique” is the third song on this album, it is technically the first real one.
“Down With The Clique” has gentle vibes, but the vocal performance you get by Solange on it is beyond vibrant. Throughout, she reaches the highest of notes, coming down only when the beat asks her to. As far as her lyrical content on the track, it’s simple, yet very powerful, as she talks about the divide that is starting to occur with this one individual she was once on the same page with when it came to living life on the edge.
I love how Solange’s feelings of abandonment permeates throughout this song. It’s almost like she forces you to end up on her side of whatever argument she’s having with this mysterious person, even though you have no clue what they are arguing about.
I’m sure Jussie Smollett played this song over and over again to his fake Nigerian schemers.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. THINGS I IMAGINED (4/5)
2. S MCGREGOR (INTERLUDE) (N/A)
3. DOWN WITH THE CLIQUE (5/5)
4. WAY TO SHOW (5/5)
5. CAN I HOLD THE MIC (N/A)
6. STAY FLO (5/5)
7. DREAMS (5/5)
8. NOTHING WITHOUT INTENTION (INTERLUDE) (N/A)
9. ALMEDA (5/5)
10. TIME (IS) (5/5)
11. MY SKIN MY LOGO (3/5)
12. WE DEAL WITH THE FREAK’N (INTERMISSION) (N/A)
13. JERROD (5/5)
14. BINZ (5/5)
15. BELTWAY (5/5)
16. EXIT SCOTT (INTERLUDE) (N/A)
17. SOUND OF RAIN (5/5)
18. NOT SCREWED (INTERLUDE) (N/A)
19. I’M A WITNESS (5/5)
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT “WHEN I GET HOME”
The lazy side of me simply wants to say I loved everything about “When I Get Home,” but as a writer, I have to give you a detailed reason on why this is easily my favorite album in the last two years.
- Solange pushes every single boundary when it comes to creativity on this album. While you’re listening to it, throw out logic, throw out what you believe to be structure, and Instead, embrace her originality, perplexity and willingness to tackle your everyday topics in completely different angles you are used to hearing.
- I love that this album never gets complacent. Right when you thought the music caught its footing, Solange gives you something that is so far left, you might f**k around and end up in California listening to it. For example, after hearing “Dreams,” I thought things would start to normalize, but then the next track is “Almeda” — an outlandish tune that basks in its defiant nature. All in all, it’s like the project has ADHD, and interestingly enough, I’m not bothered by that.
- Both Solange’s writing and her singing on this album are fully in sync with one another. Throughout, she makes every single word matter, while at the same time, she makes sure she is engulfed in her every belief vocally. To me, the teamwork you got from both aspects was fantastic.
- I love the pace Solange sings with on this album. Nothing she does seems rushed, everything she delivers flows naturally, even when the production sounds like it’s falling apart. You know what this aspect of the album reminds me of? The musical version of a QB that’s stays in the pocket even when that s**t collapses.
- How great would it be to hear this album at a speakeasy? Every song has this lively feel to it. If I was a manager at Bus Boys and Poets in DC, I would have this project on repeat on a speaker system.
- Every song on this album also has this soothing, relaxing and sobering vibe to it. While listening to it, my muscles relaxed and my stress about paying my bills went away.
- On the real, not a single song on this album is bad. OK, never mind, I take that back, I wasn’t feeling “My Skin Is My Logo.” I get what she was trying to do on it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
- You didn’t hear much from these guys, but The-Dream, Pharrell, Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt did some background work on a few songs that I thought was pretty dope. (It’s funny, I thought this album sounded a lot like Earl’s last album)
WHAT I HATED ABOUT “WHEN I GET HOME”
- Not a damn thing! I get it, some people will complain that this album only had a few complete songs, but don’t judge it as a musical album, judge it as a body of work that is full of wonderful poetry.
Solange may never reach her big sister’s success (Which isn’t saying a lot, because there are only two or three people that ever walked this planet that can live up to Beyoncé’s success), and I admire her for not trying to. I will even go as far as to say that her having to live in Beyonce’s shadow has been a blessing in disguise. It has allowed her to feel comfortable in her own pro-black/superwoman skin when she makes music. As a listener, this unique situation makes her reachable, relatable, and most importantly, rebellious!
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.