With her deeply significant 2016 album A Seat on the Table, a report that captured the realities of current as a black girl in a society that constantly and unforgivingly comes down on them, Solange Knowles turned her ache into an embodiment of magnificence — an album of magnificence and actualized inventive imaginative and prescient. On her flash-released comply with up When I Get Home, which arrived on March 1 with little discover, she explored what it means to be a black girl in relation to Houston, the town during which she was raised and that she revisits as a method of understanding the lady she’s develop into. She does so with out the crystallized focus and manicured songwriting of its predecessor, to nice impact: When I Get Home is a mosaic of concepts and inspirations, strung collectively over 19 tracks. For the set, she returned to earlier collaborators, together with Pharrell Williams, John Carroll Kirby and Raphael Saadiq, and welcomed inspiration from Stevie Wonder, Sun Ra, and Alice Coltrane. Listeners open to exploring the lineage of the album will discover a huge musical world nicely price exploring.
Stevie Wonder, Innervisions
The ample social-media comparisons to Wonder’s genius stretch of albums launched between 1972 and 1976 are becoming. Just previous to the run that culminated within the career-defining Songs within the Key of Life, Wonder had renegotiated his cope with Motown to permit full inventive freedom in an unprecedented settlement that spawned among the most important music of our time. Unencumbered by inventive restrictions herself, Solange stated that When I Get Home is impressed particularly by a report simply outdoors of that timeframe — she pointed to 1979’s sprawling Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants — however the burly synthesizers that thread all through the report recall that of Innervisions, with touches of the experimental jazz-leaning preparations of Fulfillingness’ First Finale. From the opening notes of “Things I Imagined” to the bitter bass notes punctuating “Jerrod,” Wonder’s manifestation lives like a shadow all through.
Raphael Saadiq, Instant Vintage
Saadiq is a soul and R&B veteran, and it’s solely becoming that he seems within the liner notes for taking part in bass on “Dreams.” His presence on A Seat on the Table was much more important — he served as an government producer — and whereas his contribution to When I Get Home is definitely understated, it harnesses the identical nostalgic crackle of his 2002 solo album Instant Vintage, a report that acquired considerably misplaced amid the neo-soul burnout however stands as one of many period’s most enduring.
Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (Fourth World War)
A constant power in melting down the conventions of R&B and soul, Badu adopted the trippy, legs-stretched Worldwide Underground EP with the mind-warping New Amerykah Part One (Fourth World War), a political mission that paid little thoughts to tune construction or conventional monitor size. It’s arduous to not discover the similarities: On the interlude “Can I Hold the Mic,” Solange speaks as background keys hint her vocals in rhythm and time, simply as a trumpet did with Badu on the finish of “Me.”
N.E.R.D., In Search Of …
Alongside Chad Hugo and Shay Haley, Pharrell Williams helped actualize the mainstream potential of a hip-hop band with their mission N.E.R.D. (The Roots, in fact, had been the foremost pioneers of this motion.) Williams labored with Solange way back to her 2003 debut Solo Star, however they didn’t appear to seek out their groove till he helmed the doo-wop-indebted “I Decided, Part 1,” the lead single off her impeccable breakthrough, 2008’s Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. Williams returns for standout “Almeda” and “Sound of Rain,” and whereas the relation between N.E.R.D.’s seminal In Search Of … is tenuous, it definitely seems like a free blueprint for the analog really feel of When I Get Home.
Tyler, the Creator, Flower Boy
The former Odd Future entrance man has been a Pharrell acolyte because the starting of his profession, and you may hear it in his manufacturing. Flower Boy (2017) leans closely on seventh chords and synths that would simply be sourced from a Neptunes pattern pack. He graces three tracks on When I Get Home, supplying vocals on “Time (Is)” and “Down With the Clique” (he performs keys on the latter). He additionally serves as a co-producer on “My Skin My Logo,” which touts a bass-plucked backing that wouldn’t really feel misplaced on certainly one of his information.
Standing on the Corner, Red Burns
Brooklyn group Standing on the Corner performs a major function on When I Get Home, lending manufacturing to 4 of its interludes and the disorienting, time-signature-shifting “Down With the Clique.” Some of the art-house veneer of When I Get Home might be traced to the psych-jazz and free-associative nature of their 2017 album Red Burns, which performs prefer it exploded out of a tab of acid.
Blood Orange, Negro Swan
The working relationship between Blood Orange (a.okay.a. Devonte Hynes) and Solange reaches again to the latter’s career-turning True EP, which was launched in 2012 and revealed her extra progressive facet. Hynes, who joined Sampha, Kelsey Lu, and Master P on A Seat on the Table’s “Interlude: This Moment,” has centered a lot of his tasks on the struggles of the black expertise, notably about black despair on final 12 months’s Negro Swan, which carries an analogous fluidity to When I Get Home.
Family Circle, The Family Circle
When I Get Home invokes the Delfonics–adjoining stylings of Family Circle on “Exit Scott (Interlude),” which samples the stacked vocals of “I Hope You Really Love Me” that opened their 1973 album The Family Circle. The set, reissued by soul revivalists Numero Group in 2014, is an unsurprising supply for Solange, whose appreciation for the classics has rung true by means of her discography.
John Carroll Kirby, Travel
Los Angeles–primarily based composer, producer, and keyboardist John Carroll Kirby, who seems on A Seat on the Table, additionally performs a pivotal function in When I Get Home. He’s concerned in 9 of the album’s 19 tracks. His fingerprints are in all places: from the swoon of the Moog on “Dreams” to the glassy keys buzzing on “Beltway.” Travel, the primary of two solo albums to Kirby’s identify, is an instrumental odyssey with a gently trotting gait that recollects his work on Home, placid as an off-the-cuff pay attention with rather more beneath the floor.
Earl Sweatshirt, Some Rap Songs
Sweatshirt sorted by means of trauma and loss on his 2018 album Some Rap Songs, praised for its frayed edges and scattershot sound. He additionally defined that the report was meant for black listeners: “It’s for a selected equation,” he explained. His perspective lends itself to When I Get Home, a report about being black in relation to the area during which it exists, and likewise touts him as co-producer on the meditatively nostalgic “Dreams.”
Alice Coltrane, Journey in Satchidananda
In the wake of her husband John Coltrane’s loss of life, Alice Coltrane evoked types and sounds endemic to Africa and India for Journey in Satchidananda, which was launched in 1971. The avant-garde parts to the five-track report are grounded by Coltrane’s ebullient, arpeggiating harp strums, which dart out and in of time signature as Pharoah Sanders’ soprano saxophone performs in opposition to it. As difficult as it might appear, it radiates pleasantry and tranquility at each flip. Solange talked about that she listened to Coltrane surrounding the making of When I Get Home, and it reveals.
The comparisons to Madvillain’s attention-deficit masterpiece Madvillainy rolled in following the discharge of When I Get Home with good measure. MF DOOM and Madlib constructed a world unto itself, strung along with loosely shaped and individually robust concepts pieced by means of discovered audio and oftentimes frenzied manufacturing topped with rhymes that usually ran off the runway of the time signatures. (J Dilla’s Donuts exists on this world, too.) It’s within the DNA of Solange’s newest, which opts for temper and vibe over totally shaped, conventionally organized songs.
Amel Larrieux, Morning
There’s a definite parallel between Solange and Amel Larrieux, previously one half of ’90s R&B duo Groove Theory and a neo-souldier turned reinventive R&B scion. It lies within the aesthetic of the music itself: fluttering vocals matched with preparations that, whereas usually spare, carry depth and heat. Morning, Larrieux’s third solo album that launched in 2006, aligns most with When I Get Home not simply within the informal strategy and insular vibe they inhabit — each albums are testaments to their shared capability to transmute R&B conventions whereas putting new floor.
Sun Ra, Sleeping Beauty
Solange credited Sun Ra as one of many essential inventive sources for When I Get Home, and whereas it’s arduous to discern the place precisely her report falls on the sprawling experimental jazz musician’s discography spectrum, the compass factors to 1979’s Sleeping Beauty, certainly one of his most textured and readily accessible releases. From the hymnal singing, handclaps and velveteen keys that begin off “Door of Cosmos,” its presence is felt on tracks like “Exit Scott (Interlude)” and the ambling “Down With the Clique.”