While we’re counting down to Sola Allyson’s October event (and I’m waiting patiently for Ty Bello’s new single, ‘Land of Promise’), I decided to do a throwback review to celebrate my favourite tracks from Sola, Cobhams and Ty: ‘Isinmi’, ‘ Ordinary People’ and ‘Thirsty’.
These records are special to me in different ways, and they add up to the fact that it’s only the presence of God that can give us peace and satisfy our thirst, and only His presence empowers us to be extraordinary.
‘Isinmi” is a dreamy traditional ballad about the peace of God. Its intoxicating melody line on B major comes back to me long after I’ve listened to it. I love the way Shola switches between octaves when she sings ‘Okan mi wo isimi’. The song’s message is so powerful, speaking the amazing truth that God not only calls us home but calls peace into our minds. We do not have to be agitated or fearful or worried over anything because He has pronounced his peace upon us. I love the Yoruba percussive feel of the song and the arrangement of the piece. Sola’s non operatic voice is also an interesting addition to this classically arranged song. Its rich feel conveys its depth of understanding of the Yoruba language, which is really cool.
Bt-dubs, this song did a serious job of challenging my Yoruba…loool! The cheat sheet to getting the spiritual inheritance of this piece is to completely understand it…hahaha (My people, please what is ‘laasigbo’?). I was also tickled that Shola Allyson used the phrase ‘Gbagbe Oshi’, but my favourite line though is where Shola sings about taking joy in the grace and redemption of her creator,which is a clear case of her having tasted and seen that her God is good.
Moving on to Cobhams’ contemporary slash alternative rock masterpiece, ‘Ordinary People’, I especially like the timbre of Cobhams’ voice, giving the song a refined feel. He delivers the line ‘You’d probably laugh it off, I know’ with slight Yoruba inflections, that I thought were really cute. And gosh, the back ups gave extraordinary life to the song. One of my favourite moments was Cobhams’ singing the line in the bridge ‘Every little baby’ lower than the back ups… making it sound so rich! His songwriting is magnificent and the entire orchestration of the song is perfection.I also enjoyed the contemporary modulation, Cobham’s effortless ad libs, as well as the la’s from the back ups.
Last but not least is Ty Bello’s ‘Thirsty’ which is incredibly special to me. I think I might have listened to it for many many minutes at a stretch. It has an 80’s feel, especially with its beat, reminding me of the same in Lagbaja’s ‘Never Far Away’ (before the vamp and the chorus) and of course the characteristic 80’s modulation . I could sooo imagine Lionel Richie on the piano, with its dreamy major 7th chords recurring in the intro, flashing me back to Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’. I love the fact that the song shows wanting to be God as a super basic need and makes it beautifully poetic at the same time!
Listen to ‘Thirsty’ here
Ps: you know what occurs to me now is that they could totally be planning an amazing soprano, alto and tenor trio piece for October.*wink* (Let me have your thoughts!)
Gosh! I can’t for an Evening with Sola Allyson!