Wednesday, April 27, 2011

VINYL-PALOOZA #9: The Wisdom of Solomon

In 1989, Solomon Solo, a native of Ghana, Africa now living in Los Angeles, spent what must have been a big chunk of change to hire a large crew of slick session musicians for his vanity album "The Wisdom of Solomon." He did not, however, hire any singers. And that's what lifts this album from competent-but-uninteresting private press release to outsider gold. All the songs are Solo's originals, a blend of American-style r'n'b with some African influences, and if anyone else sang 'em, even with Solo's idiosyncratic lyrics, they still probably would have been fairly ordinary.

The opening track is harmless enough, but then we get the songs that feature Solo's high, thin-to-screechy and

frequently off-pitch singing that is nevertheless full of sincerity and passion - he means these songs. And some of the songwriting actually is catchy - the title song has a pretty interesting West African feel to it, and I get "White Doves of Seville" (my favorite track) stuck in my head for days, even if Solos' voice causes me to occasionally wince.


And I like his quote on the back cover: "To understand proverbs and parables is to have wisdom and understanding." So...to have understanding is to have understanding..?

1 comment:

DFENS said...

Your last paragraph had me laughing. Thanks for putting up these oddities.