Considering his epic catalogue of releases I don’t think I can recall sulo ever making a “Bad” record luckily this very ambitious release can also be added to the ever impressive list. Diamond Dogs, The Crunch or Solo he has his distinct vocal and can easily flip-flop between styles sure they’re all Rock and Roll but this is a far gentler side of his work. Especially the ‘Nightshift’ side as it might suggest. Piano acoustic guitars duets its fairly standard arrangments for sure but the quality of the songs shines through. ‘Time To Alight’ is a wonderful and simple piano and guitar song with sparse backing vocals. I think its fair to say that if Sulo wanted to create a soundtrack to the dead of night then he has achieved that with some to spare. It’s gentle and soft in places and its personified in the albums title track with some beautiful piano rolls that sort of put a full stop on proceedings.
Sulo has always had great musicians working with him to compliment his writing and this is no exception. I love the swirling organ that stabs through the bleakness like on ‘I Swear To God I Don’t Believe’ I love the grandness of the backing vocals. Considering this collection has twenty seven songs it ebbs and flows wonderfully I know it won’t please everyone but if you want the guys gentler balladeering side then it’s here and if you want the Rock and Roll that’s present too the only thing missing is the punkier side but that’s why he does the Crunch I guess. Sure I think its fair to say you will be drawn to one CD over the other be it the darker melancholy side or the more uptempo and light side, me I’m somewhere in between as I think the best songs are on ‘Nightshift’ I do love it when he delves into that whole Faces groove but here its not quite that simple as ‘Brilliant Outsiders’ has got its country honk going on. If you ever liked someone like Chuck Prophet then you need to check this out – lap steel, duets, country honk Sulo has arranged for a whole record of players to duet with him from Stockholm to Florida and Nashville to London and everywhere between have lent a helping hand. He’s even managed to rope in the UK finest Country Band Los Pacaminos to back him up. So it would seem you can also add this style to his ever-bulging portfolio. It’s not quite the stretch you might think but the songs are authentic and sound like they’ve been brought from a good place and a happiness and Joie de vivre captured within.
‘Bring Down The Angels’ is fantastic and the band lives it up on ‘God Damned Jesus’ did somebody mention Mellencamp meets Waits meets Waylon? Oh, it was me. Well, that’s the ballpark we’re playing in here. I think its no good thinking you’re going to hear the Diamond Dogs or Crunch because that’s not going to happen you have to keep an open mind and just let the music flow. whilst it might have been an experiment too far for a lot of people for many others I’m sure an appreciation for the guy’s songwriting talent will win them over. Me – I’m happy to hear whatever Sulo throws my way I think he’s a talent we should champion no matter what style he delivers next. If you don’t raise a smile by the end of ‘A Song For Every Train’ then I feel sorry for you.
Author : Dom Daley