The album cover for Solange's "When I Get Home." Photo courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

SOUND JUDGEMENT: ‘When I Get Home’ by Solange

March 22, 2019

On March 1, Solange Knowles, who gave the world whimsical hits such as “Cranes in the Sky” and “Don’t Touch My Hair” (both 2016), released her fourth studio album entitled “When I Get Home.”

The 19-track album not only serves as a way for Knowles to speak on her life experiences, but allows her to bring her listeners along with her on a journey of reflection and tribute. With the variation of musical stylings and song interpretations, listeners will either be in the mood to dance or self-reflect.

Knowles, 32, generally stayed within the realms of alternative R&B and/or soul for her previous studio albums. With the help of multiple collaborators, Solange was able to implement hip hop, jazz, trap, and funk musical elements into the project. Tracks on the album such as “Stay Flo” and “Almeda” delivered the album’s hip-hop and trap elements.

In addition to Solange’s genres variations within this album, she includes tracks such as “Way to the Show” and “Time (Is)” that showcased her signature R&B and soul elements.

Some of the artists and producers that contributed to the creation of this album includes Gucci Mane, The-Dream, Playboi Carti, and Pharrell.

Within this album, Knowles not only provided her listeners with her unique sound, but she created “When I Get Home: The Film,” that served as a visual album to illustrate the context behind each track.

The film includes each track from the album in its original sequence. The first song on the album, “Things I Imagined,” illustrates Knowles’ goal manifestation and is the initial song that Solange and her ensemble performed in the visual album.

The combination of a subtle, yet daring wardrobe alongside spoken vocal samples, and avant-garde visuals allowed Solange to tell a story about origin and evolution, all while paying homage to her Houstonian roots.

With the abstraction and uniqueness of this album, Solange’s musical and creative stylings may not appeal to a first-time listener. As for her loyal fans, “When I Get Home” served as another project that resulted in an increased admiration of the songstress’s unparalleled talent.

With the combination of Solange’s soothing voice, the occasional use of up-tempo hip hop beats, and her ever-present originality, “When I Get Home” shifted Solange into a new level of musical and cultural eccentricity.

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