When I Get Home is Just a Vibe, and That's Okay.
On March 1, 2019, Solange released When I Get Home, her fourth studio album. In 2016, Solange surprised the world with her album A Seat at the Table, that had neo-soul, funk and R&B touches. The album was more political than Solange’s previous work and had collaborations with artists like BJ the Chicago Kid, Andre 3000, The Dream, Common and many others.
While Home received great reviews from music critiques on websites like Pitchfork and the New York Times (not to mention the slew of YouTube reviewers that loved the album), people that are outside of music criticism did not seem to like it much. I began to wonder why that is, because the album is great, but for different reasons that A Seat.
Home is an homage to Solange’s hometown, Houston, Texas. This is easy to tell because of songs like Almeda and S McGregor, but also because of the various visuals that go along with the music. Many of the songs are very easy to listen to, making me think that the music is great because they invoke a certain feeling. They’re great songs to vibe out to and clearly represent something personal for Solange herself.
So why doesn’t the average listener not appreciate the album?
I think it has a lot to do with Solange being a serious artist. She takes her sweet time developing each track to make sure that she’s telling the story that she wants to tell. Coming off of the success of A Seat, many of us probably thought that we were getting another political/social album that said everything we needed to hear, just the way we need to hear it. When more artists develop a reputation as being artsy or political or one specific thing, fans hate to see them become another. However, when a less serious artist does something like this, the change is welcome, if it is noticed at all.
Artists are allowed to grow and change. They are allowed to take a break from tracks that involve more serious topics in favor of those that are more lighthearted. They are allowed to do their own thing. They are allowed to do what they want with their art.