Analog Adventures: When I Get Home

Solange

When I Get Home

(2019)

About the Artist

Solange Knowles has made a name for herself separate from her older sister Beyoncé by focusing on soul and R&B music. Earlier works such as True channeled pop stars from the 1980s such as Donna Summer. While enjoyable the EP feels slightly derivative but charming enough to stand on it’s own legs as a unique work. Solange gained critical acclaim for her third album A Seat at the Table which also contained the Grammy award winning Cranes in the Sky. Since her debut, Solange has progressively grown more and more experimental.

When I Get Home takes ideas from A Seat at the Table and turns them up to the next level. The record is full of jazzy, soulful instrumentals with lo-fi drumbeats and major features. Solange takes credit for writing on all of the songs, with help from major industry names such as Tyler, the Creator. When I Get Home sounds like a modern Journey in Satchidananda, and Solange is channeling Alice Coltrane.

The Record Itself

Space and ambiance are used to great effect through out the album. The main songs are separated by short interludes, that tie them together like a concept album. The impact these smooth transitions have to the listening experience is crucial to the experience. You want to put this album on and let it play all the way through. Time and tempo changes mark the experimental influences on this record. By the time you arrive at the end of side A with Time (Is), you’re ready to flip the disc and hear how it concludes. Side B picks up immediately with My Skin My Logo. Despite being only 39 minutes in length, the albums 19 tracks feel like a journey that comes full circle. It ends the way it begins; Solange singing alone with a synthesizer.

“We were wild and entertained, goin’ the whole day, bound to come undone.” – Solange, Down with the Clique

The physical edition of When I Get Home saw a release months after the digital version. It originally sold through Solange’s online store as a limited print on clear vinyl. The record weight is a standard 140 grams, while not as satisfying as 180, it does not feel flimsy. The record is housed in a standard jacket, graced with beautiful cover art. The back cover art is reminiscent of A Seat at the Table with the mathematical drawings and non-sequitur track listing.

The back of the album

Is It Worth It?

Innovation and experimentation in genres such as soul and R&B are not unheard of, but not common. The music industry rewards tried and true song structures and familiar names. Solange is a household name due to her sister’s celebrity, yet she does not write or sing like Beyoncé. There are moments when you can hear similarities in the timbre of their voices, but the flashy vocal gymnastics Beyoncé is known for are not present.

This does not mean Solange is not as capable as her sister, it simply means that her music calls for more restraint and control. Knowing when to climb scales and arpeggios and when NOT to do so is equally important. All of this pays off to create an amazing record that is unlike anything available today. For an average selling price of $18 on Discogs, this is absolutely worth adding to your collection.

Outstanding Tracks

  • Down with the Clique
  • Way to the Show
  • Almeda
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Jose Diaz

Collector of analog media.

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