Ever since humans switched from nomadic to sedentary societies, the sentimental value behind home spans across all cultures around the globe. Life has the ability to take people far away from familiar places and faces, causing anxieties and woes that home can help heal.
On March 3, the SHAPE Community Center on Almeda was packed with listeners group healing to Grammy award-winning Solange’s thirty three minute visual that accompanied her new album, “When I Get Home”.
The album was released two days prior to the event, equally exciting and surprising many fans. With themes of Black cowboy culture, along with traditional Houston and Third Ward culture, the album deeply resonated with many Texas listeners.
The tracklist for “When I Get Home” features many street names in Third Ward, a homage to Solange’s upbringing in the historically Black neighborhood in Houston.
Tracks like Jerrod, Exiting Scott, and the standout tracks Almeda and Binz, all pay tribute to the neighborhood that also produced Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad.
The interlude, S McGregor, the street the Knowles family lived on, features a snippet of a poem that was read by Allen and Rashad, speaking on the power of leaving home: “I boarded a train/Kissed all goodbye/And now my heart knows no delight.”
To better share the sentiments of her home, Solange held a viewing party at nine different locations that were important to her in Third Ward.
Unity National Bank (the only Black-owned bank in Texas), Project Row Houses, Ensemble Theater, and the SHAPE Community Center were just a few that hosted a viewing of the accompanying visual along with a live stream of Solange discussing her album and artistic vision.
In the discussion, curated by art critic Antwaun Sargent, Solange shared her temporary move to the house on Wichita that facilitated her inspiration for the album. “
“When I get Home” is sonically nothing like her previous album, “A Seat At The Table”, as Solange accredits this to “having a lot to feel” on “When I Get Home” versus “having a lot to say” on “A Seat At The Table”.
When I Get Home is full of Solange being in the comfort of her own home, without the worries of how her art will be taken in. Her energy and comfortability is felt on the album as she effortlessly conveys the idea that home is where she belongs.