Somehow, this week has gifted me with two of the best English-language pop albums I've heard in months (years?). First we got Brandon Flowers' surprisingly epic The Desired Effect, and now we have the first solo album from Ola Salo (formerly of the Ark). Though the Ark remains my favorite rock band ever, it's been nearly a decade since they released their last great recording. Because of this, I was convinced that Ola's solo work would end up as a parade of diminishing returns. While his commercial peak is likely past him, I am SO happy to report that the album itself is fantastic. It's everything I liked about the Ark, plus added choral and experimental elements. Lyrically, the songs are not nearly as accessible as they used to be. There are a lot of obscure, intellectual/philosophical musings throughout the record. But musically, Ola's writing is just as strong and universal as it always was. Standing On The Edge Of The World is him in total It Takes A Fool To Remain Sane-mode -- a skyscraper anthem that hits you like a sucker punch every time. I just live for this kind of bombast and melody. The track has an excellent, dramatic build to it, finally exploding as it hits that last chorus. Get your lighters ready and sing along. Ola is back and his music is everything. I can't believe I ever expected less.
(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.
...Transmissions come in from outposts all over the universe... Unfamiliar melodies stream into our radios... Fronted by colorful aliens with big voices... The music begins to catch on ... It's in our heads and it refuses to leave... And we like it...
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