Lenny Solomon Band, |
(Not Life Threatening, 2007)
Lenny Solomon is a product of the 1960s, when he performed regularly in Cambridge before taking a break to raise a family. He continued to write during that period, and so had a vast repertoire of self-penned material when he re-emerged in the 1990s with his own band.
This collection defies being pigeonholed. There are echoes of folk, bits of country, snippets of pop and strains of blues on offer over 14 tracks.
He opens in upbeat fashion, telling us that "It's Snowing" before taking it down a bit for a more thoughtful "Maybe Today," the title track. If you want to lift your spirits, give a listen to "Island of Misplaced Souls." "Friendly Rock" is another up-tempo piece worth giving your attention to.
Not that this is a light-hearted album. He also tackles the darker side. This is done to great effect on "The Great Judgement" and "Other Side of the Street." As if to demonstrate his versatility, he launches into a beautifully written and performed ballad that sounds timeless on "Why."
One of the songs that I particularly enjoyed is "Lets Go to Mars." It is a song about forgetting about all the troubles besetting us today, from wars to rising prices. Solomon recalls the tragedy of Katrina with a moving song called "The Flood." It brings us into the reality of how it must have felt to experience that horror.
He lightens things as we approach the final chords of this album. He sings of dealing with life's hard times and playing in a band -- not that either sentiment is connected or separate.
Solomon has a knack for writing good lyrics worth listening to and delivering them with a good tune, whether it be lively or sad.
by Nicky Rossiter