“I’m weary of the ways of the world,” Solange Knowles stated on her stellar 2016 release, A Seat at the Table. It was a near-hour tour of the female black experience in America, championing the beauty, power, and magic of black women as she took her metaphorical “seat at the table.”
On this new release, Solange returns home to build her message back from the ground up where she started, and in revisiting her roots, recalls the memories and feelings of belonging to a place and a culture. Born in New Orleans, in the South, Solange describes the candy paint on the cars on “Way to the Show,” social gatherings and dancing on “Down with the Clique,” and features from Gucci Mane on “My Skin My Logo.”
A more poetic and flowing release, the intimacy, hypnotic lyrics, and instrumentation akin to that of a turnt-up ballerina musical jewelry box, leaves more to the imagination than the forthright messaging on A Seat at the Table. “There is a lot of jazz at the core,” she told The New York Times Style Magazine, “But with electronic and hip-hop drum and bass because I want it to bang and make your trunk rattle.”
Everything is still present, if not so in the forefront however, as tracks like “Almeda” and “Sound of Rain” display the aggravation with the world and its treatment of black women that Solange still harbors. Nonetheless, the record doesn’t feel like it’s fighting, it feels like it wants to go home and rest. In a world of chaos and discrimination, Solange’s home is tranquil and a refuge. If A Seat at the Table was an explainer for the world that her music was “F.U.B.U.” (a.k.a. “for us, by us”) and that constant fighting can make a person feel weary, then When I Get Home is the embodiment of that ideology.
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