Lord knows I’m a sucker for a surprise album, funnily enough I think the lord knows I’m a sucker for a Solange album too.
Solange made it big in 2016. Grammy’s were won and number one albums were made. The Houston born RnB star found the winning formula, then threw it out the window in search of a new one. When I Get Home is that new formula, as Solange exchanges a traditional sound for a much bolder approach. While it still has it’s foundations of ambiance and soulful sounds, there’s an extra dosage of experimentation. It’s still slick in it’s sound, but somehow Solange has found the way to blend the slickness and the roughness in such a seamless way.
Solange enlisted the help of some mega stars on this album in the form of Easter Eggs. The guest features of Playboi Carti, Sampha and Gucci Mane all fall in with production from Tyler, the Creator, Pharrell Williams and Steve Lacy. That’s doesn’t cover it all, there’s guest vocals all over the place, guest producers too, such free thinking allows for sounds we wouldn’t normally get. The highlight of the entire album comes in the way of Almeda, as guest Playboi Carti has one of his more uplifting performances to date over some classic Pharrell production. This track glides right into the next, Time (is), in such a satisfying and quite frankly masterful way. It’s those little intricate details that make this one stand out. By the way, the intricacies are everywhere; the production on this album really is as sexy as it gets. But let’s not forget that Solange is the true star here despite all the guests, her vocals are nothing short of wonderful once again. Binz is a track just shy of 2 minutes that proves my previous point, she’s the star here. It’s a unique sound for Solange, but that’s why it’s so good. Three years on from the most commercial success she’s ever had, she’s chosen to flip the script and evolve her sound further.
Solange has created something that sounds free of any pressure and it makes for such an easy listen. It ticks boxes from it’s beautiful melodies, through to it’s mass supply of Easter Eggs (shout out Playboi Carti once again), through to it’s free flowing nature. We’ve got a really great album here that stands out as one of the years best so far. If there was a bit more substance to some of these shorter tracks we could be looking at a true world beater, but unfortunately all the glossy 2 minutes tracks can’t equate to a 4 or 5 minute masterpiece. Some vocals, while brilliantly executed, can sound a little bit similar. I think the album would benefit from having a couple of lengthier songs to sink the teeth into. There’s a ton of great content here, but the spark of a legendary album is missing.
Let’s not get sidetracked with some negatives, though, as this albums positives far outweigh that.