Out There: Music Review | Solange

Beyoncé’s younger sister keeps taking the world by storm, and her surprise album is slick, yet jazzy.

solange_when.jpg

Solange
When I Get Home
Columbia - 2019

 

Surprise albums are all the rage these days. With Solange’s no-notice, no-press album release on March 1, it’s all the more obvious the heiress to the throne of Knowles isn’t following her sister Beyoncé’s pop-heavy, top 40 path to artistic relevance. It’s appropriate that the album feels loose and jazzy, since Solange’s splashy debut implies a maturity and confidence in her sound four albums in.

In the same way that the album’s cover is a portrait photograph of her equal parts intimate and stunning, When I Get Home is a soulful gaze directly into the heart of her voice, both literally and creatively speaking. The instrumentation is sparse, yet funky, and the overall theme of the recordings and backing performance is to get everything out of the way of Solange’s silky, warm, coy, yet assertive vocal delivery. Far from top 40, this is pop informed by equal parts To Pimp A Butterfly-era Kendrick, Janelle Monae, and Flying Lotus-style textural flash.