Solange Knowles | When I Get Home

 
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Family Average: 6/7

Today we have an album recommended to review from our sister, Meghan. It’s Solange Knowles’ When I Get Home. When I (Sean) get home the first thing I do is change into a monstrous pair of sweatpants and drink about a gallon of water.

 

There really is nothing quite like going home. I am sure you can all relate. If not I understand we all have our own routines. Take world renowned singer, Solange for instance. I am sure she has got her own thing to do when she gets home after a long day of being Solange. Maybe that is what she put on this new album of hers. Maybe, but only one way to find out. Have a listen and read on below.

 
 
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Throw Solange’s album on and then melt right into the floor.

Entrancing, play the whole thing through and then play it again. Tender and complete.

The songs are so full because her voice is enough of an instrument but then you get those funky beats that complement it so perfectly and the base and then the deep voices to contrast, and the tracks are just so full and perfect.

A lot of simple repetitive sounds, but that helps put you into the trance. Like you’re floating underwater and there’s light sparkling through the surface.

Even the interludes are so well produced and beautiful. One of my favorite transitions would be “Can I Hold the Mic (Interlude)” into “Stay Flo.” “Stay Flow” is my favorite track, that beat aaah. So simple but so yes, nostalgic noises that kind of remind me of “Tipsy” by J-Kwon thrown in with that like hypnotic beat.

The songs just drift into each other. I love the transition from “Jerrod” into “Binz” and her angelic voice with the beat, such a goodie that song.

“My Skin My Logo” is a yes, cannot remember the last time I listened to Gucci Mane but fantastic. And Tyler, the Creator’s deep voice fits in with those beats so beautifully, the ending aah beautiful.

“Time (is)” is a notable track, delightful, grows and grows, feels so right.

The album is also socially conscious and challenging.

Soulful, proud, elegant, classy.

Every track is perfectly produced, the right amount of sweetness added to them all, the noises, the interludes everything keeps up the vibe.

Honey that makes you move, pleasing to my mind.

7/7

 
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Solange Knowles’ album, When I Get Home beautifully combines the elements of R&B, Jazz and Hip Hop with a real psychedelic vibe.

Her voice and song composition are so strong and I love that this is center stage on every track. The instrumentals and background singing are offered in just the right amount as to not overshadow this amazing talent. You can hear a heavy Motown Girl Group influence. I kept thinking Diana Ross for sure. This is a woman with a plan and you feel she is in charge of this journey she is taking you on and you are sure glad she is. I was trying to pick a favorite track, however I really feel this is a complete work. Each song weaves into the next and much like an artist taking brush strokes to canvas you can’t single out one aspect you like best because, it’s just all so powerful together.

I could see myself listening to this anywhere and constantly.

6/7

 
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This album is dripping with the eminent love for creation.

I’ve never fully listened to a Solange album, and while this isn’t my preferred genre I gotta give credit where credit is due. The flow of the tracks, the integration of different Motown, hip hop, and r&b sounds, the carefully crafted interludes and intermissions, they all speak to a lot of attention to detail. It’s creating for the love of the game.

I feel like in this day in age (wow how old am i?) it’s easy to follow a formula or to pump out a list of singles and call it an album. This is definitely an album in its own right—an artistic exploration that examines what it is to be a young African American woman in today’s society. The experimentation throughout is artfully placed, with the voice records and static distortion coming in and out like meaningful departures from the content that doesn’t fully take you out. It just jars you into place. And then there’s Solange’s vocals. They take the whole thing up that extra notch. She’s so damn talented!

When I Get Home had me entranced. Really happy lil Meg Meg exposed me to such a great album.

6/7

 
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Solange—the final frontier. I don’t really know what that sentence even means. I just kept getting the feeling like this was recorded out in space. The entire album was swollen with reverberation. Interwoven into all this sound was also little blips and transmissions. Things that on their own come off as innocuous, but when arranged properly creates a satisfying collage.

 Oddly enough I was reminded of that phase in my life when I was listening to a lot of number station recordings. You know we have all had that time in our lives? Right? anybody else? Don’t be shy. I am sure there is at least a handful of us weirdos out there. Okay for those of you who do not know there were these stations putting out random strings of numbers and letters. Eventually, someone recorded them and put out an album called The Conet Project - Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations.

 This album brings with it the same kind of sweeping frequencies. It may have been due to the heavy amount of sampling in the album this coupled with the spoken word bits helped created this jumbled vibe. It could also come from the very short length of each of the songs. I see a similar song structure come up in Tierra Whack’s Whack World which we reviewed last year. The only difference being Tierra seemed to jump around to completely different moods where all of Solange’s songs seem to be… in a word… analogous.

 The songs are for the most part very downtempo. The long, slow verses help reinforce that this lady has a darn nice voice.

 I would say I enjoyed my experience with this album. If I was going to gripe about anything It would be that I would prefer the various interludes to be a little more jarring. At times I felt I was drifting off, and they could work great as a palette cleanser to gear you up to hear a new song.

 4/7

 
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Solange just dropped a piece of Art, people. Yeah. ART.

R&B seems to be skewing more experimental these days—more exploratory, more conceptually—and I am definitely into it. This latest album from Solange follows suit; it's non-linear, ambient, and draws influences from multiple influences. It's extremely polished, with moments of that golden era of 2000’s R&B, accented by samples of rap and jazz, it feels like a stream of conscious manifestation.

 Clipped with synthesized samples, sonic textures, and heavy reverberation, the songs are short and complex. As always, the vocals are beautiful, and match the fragmented, fleeting structure of the songs. And yet, the album is so slow; it moves like molasses, untethered, taking its sweet time to ebb and flow through the creative, woozy assemblage.

 I've always been intrigued by Solange's approach to music, specifically the way she crafts a sort of visceral experience. A freeform rumination and exploration, it definitely lingers and leaves an impression. And yet, there's something murky about it all. It's stunning, yes, but I don't totally understand what she's trying to do or say. But maybe that's the beauty of it? As art does, it challenges us, it blurs convention, it injects a bit of poetry into our lives. All in all, I'm left a bit intrigued, and a bit confused, but also enchanted.

 5/7

 
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I’m glad that an album like that gets prime exposure, it’s a true musical experience.

I feel bad bringing a comparison with Beyonce, because I’m sure she has to deal with that all the time, but I had the strong impression that the difference between her and Beyonce is somehow very similar to the difference between Prince and Michael Jackson. One is very mainstream, tailored to be liked by as many people as possible, very polished, and a little calculated. The other one is weird, unpredictable, always explores new stuff and take risks. Well, of both I prefer Prince, so I’m definitely feeling the same here, and I definitely liked When I Get Home because it made the same impression on me as some Prince albums do.

There’s a ton of weird sounds, atmospheres, chord progressions that really take you far from mainstream R&B, but for the best. This particular album reminded me a lot of Thundercat’s album Drunk. Very unpredictable, sometimes experimental jazz, sometimes classic soul, sometimes trip-hop, but with a dexterity that’s really impressive. Her singing is so unusual, takes a lot of unexpected turns, explores different styles, but she never seems to be forcing or showing off even, it’s very fluid. I really wish singers are going to take example of her.

I am going to look back at her previous stuff, because I now feel like I might have missed out on her music and there’s probably be some more cool songs in her collection

6.5/7




 
Sean Maldjian