CD REVIEW: SOL - Senses
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: 70's Retro Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Americana, Psychedelic Funk
Sounds Like: Great Big Sea, Rare Earth, Lil Feat, Jamiroquai, Tower of Power
Technical Grade: 9/10
Weakness: Winded Songs, Strings within the Mix, Moe solos
The music of SOL defines soul / funk /rock. The band offers a fresh new sound capturing a unique menagerie of mo-town, funk, blues, jazz, and rock n' roll genres with the intent of restoring roots into the modern day music scene. Intelligent lyrics and catchy melody lines are the heart of the SOL formula. The band brings danceable tunes, heartfelt ballads, and an element of good old rock n' roll together in a high-energy live show that's sure to provoke a positive reaction from every listener and attendee. Band members include: Jody Mosser, Michael Henne, Toussaint, Jessica Sammis, Rebecca Racusin, Evan Durr.
The CD kicks things off with melodic title track “Be Strong” a melodic guitar/horn driven intro groove meshed against driving rock rhythm, emotionally charged vocal delivery from Toussaint. And company. Track 2 “Mad at Love” serves up another slamming ditty, with driving rock rhythm, melodic musical flow coupled with hooky harmonies and vocal accents. Track 3 “Heavy Rain” shifts gears with its retro 70’s musical intro eventually lending itself into an amazing musical piece meshed with an infectious rock cover that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of Great Big Sea, Rare Earth, Lil' Feat, Jamiroquai, and Tower of Power. Right from the start you will notice Toussaint and company feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. Besides the 4 piece standard the overall musical vibe has a nice, melodic poppy, hooky feel to it. The guitar playing is rock solid across the board as Toussaint and company dish out impressive guitar licks, rock solid rhythm guitar playing, impressive horn sections, and well placed organ, keyboard, piano and string accents meshed with lush vocal harmonies layered everywhere. Toussaint‘s got solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. When he let's his guard down and throws in his thick harmonies it's beyond comparison. The musicianship from all the other members in the band has everything you would expect from a standard 4 piece standard and more. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. The production quality is rock solid with crystal clear high end clarity and solid low end punch. From silky smooth “Room for You” to rocking “Senses” to my personal favorite “People” to funkadelic “Bad Little Girl” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 11 “That’s Not Right” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I don't like he way the Cello and Violin sit within the mix. I wish I heard a few more slamming solos along the way - C'MON MAN!.
In close Senses by SOL is an impressive poppy, hooky 11 song release from this DC based 5 piece. Toussaint and company bring the mojo and some!. If these guys have a slam dunk live presentation then that would be a deadly combination no doubt. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate, funky and highly entertaining – and clearly prove this band is on to something special. One would be wise to keep a watchful on them over the years to come.