Oriole Sol
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Oriole Sol

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To make a concept album on your first try is daring to say the least. Most deter from drafting such creativity on their debut – and this consensus is fairly consistent throughout music collectives. So when up and comers Oriole Sol go all out on their first album: All Inclusive, you know it’s gonna turn some heads.

Oriole Sol is a New York City based trio consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Revi Roza, bassist Omar Walker and emcee/producer Jon ‘Cosmo’ Kagan. Musically their style may be considered a multi-fusion of electronica, latin jazz, hip-hop/rnb and soul… though in this author’s opinion, it’s perhaps best not to classify their form to any particular genre.

All Inclusive sets the scenes of a love affair taken place on a holiday of an unspecified destination (despite the teasing hints of caribbean/latin influence). The protagonist is introduced from the beginning and sets herself for a sun/beach/dance filled/multiple drinks, all-inclusive vacation. Fast forward five enticing tracks later and the love interest enters the picture (evident from the lyrics “I was sipping from my cup when a stranger said to me/ What a pleasant smile so relaxed so serene/ Want to get to know you, want to share in your mystery”). From there, the romantic entanglement fills the majority of the track listing right up until ‘Departure’.

To any regular traveller, or perhaps even those who have fantasised of such affairs as the one described above, this album will sit with them. The allusion is fun, passionate and quirky… nothing too heavy or enigmatic, just the right balance of emotional competence and entertaining lyricism. Revi completely bodies the singing! Her sound just seems perfect for the part: shrilling yet smooth and arousing. There are definitely some hints of soul/jazz in her voice and she can hit some great notes in cool places (check the songs “Satisfied” and “Up, Up, And Away” for an example). Cosmo also does a decent job. Usually, an emcee on any predominantly singer/songwriter album can abuse their power, but this is not the case in All Inclusive, as Jon seems to have taken a step back and allowed Revi to do her thing. Both artists bold well with each other as Cosmo’s staccato voice contrasts and mirrors much of Revi’s singing.

And as for the songs on the album? Oh my the songs… There are defintiely some memorable ones. Though on first listen, it may seem like you’ve been transported to a hotel foyer… or perhaps even listening to a Café Del Mar summer soundtrack at some coffee house off the coast of Spain. However, do not let that get in the way of the music – there’s some good stuff here! Tracks like ‘The Deep End’ are easy listening existentialism paired with sultry song writing. ‘Sound Waves’ (clever title) continues that notion, or at least to begin with. Jump on over to the eccentric ‘Room 23’, and you maybe wondering where the albums going. In fact, ‘Drink You Up’ sounds like the aforementioned ‘The Deep End’s’ dystopian counter part. Only in the last three tracks do things begin to take shape. ‘Boogie in a Brainstorm’ really ups the ante and almost seems to throw you head first into a club in Ibiza. This is definitely one of the highlights that really sells the double sex/dance metaphor in a clever way. The two final tracks do their job nice and simply: keep you charmed enough to not wanna leave. All in all, this is a cohesive album!

For some parts of the record, bits of the music may seem a little obscure. None is a better example than the song breakdown midway/at the end of ‘Sound Waves’. The overall merriment and joyous disposition seems to change slap bang half way through, followed by down tempo, metamorphic and nearly lamenting tracks that over emphasise chopped up samples and hooks. This remains all the way up until ‘Love Du Jour’ (Hell, ‘Nylon Dreams’ sounds like an interlude ripped right out of some conceptual hip-hop record ). To the outsider, this may just seem like producer braggin’, but it is a little more than that… this mash up signifies the change in the story – from laxing to earnestness. It’s clever, if not particularly subtle – and though at first may seem hard to swallow, should not deter you from listening straight through to the end.

Overall, ‘All Inclusive’ really sets the bar for all local bands/artists that want to leave their mark in the giant world of music. It’s clever and fun for the apathetic listener and will certainly give a lot more for those with a keen ear. For those that feel that winter has overstayed its welcome, Oriole Sol’s debut is a solid reminder that summer loving is on its way! - Philip Edlin


Discography

ALL INCLUSIVE released April 2013

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Bio

Oriole Sol was formed in 2011. "All Inclusive" is their first release and is a concept album that takes the listener on a dreamy ride inside the utopian resort called Getaway Hotel.

The project began out of the group's mutual interest in music that transcends genre. They decided to make a record that would be an amalgamation of their interests where the focus was more on their enjoyment and fun rather than rules and expectations.