Skip to main content

Cleo Sol 'Rose in the Dark'


REVIEWDebut album satisfies with vintage soul sounds

I’ve been a fan of Cloe Sol for some time and I’ve been eagerly awaiting her debut project since her March release “When I’m in Your Arms”, featured on the 'Influenced - Recommended' playlist here.

I listened to the project with expectation and excitement on release day and I’m pleased to say that overall the London singer-songwriter has delivered what I was hoping for.

Through the 11 track project, Cleo’s vocals take the listener on a journey of '70s jazz and '90s neo-soul.



A soothing, calming influence in these chaotic times, this debut album showcases Cleo’s skill in using vintage genres to deliver music that has an honesty and directness worthy in style and emotion of past greats.
A soothing, calming influence in these chaotic times
Production on ‘Rose…’ is handled by fellow Londoner Inflo.

I’m not completely au fait with Inflo’s output, but I enjoyed the work he did with musician, songwriter and record producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse on 2019’s ‘Kiwanuka’.  Inflo’s work on ‘Rose…’ evokes a similarly classy backdrop.

Between Inflo’s production and Cleo’s vocals, ‘Rose In The Dark’ evokes the rich British Jazz and Soul scenes in the late 80’s / early 90’s, eras that redefined the potential of multicultural music, art and literature.
Rose in the Dark evokes eras that redefined the UK’s multicultural music scene
‘Rose In The Dark’ seamlessly moves from track to track with jazzy bass lines, smooth string melodies and, above all, a soulful voice that needs to be heard.

Whilst each track merits its own detailed analysis, the undoubted highlight is "When I'm in Your Arms".

The hypnotic bass intro, doubled up high hats and bongos are a sensual sonic invitation.

The stirring strings enter like a love scene from a Bond movie, transporting the listener into a convertible touring the scenic coastline of southern France.

Exemplifying the project’s deft mixing of cultural timelines, a 90’s R&B / neo-soul production tone is combined with vocals straight out of the 70’s, reminiscent of iconic songstress Minnie Ripperton.  The introduction of Cleo’s silky vocals are impactful and they, combined with her evocative lyrics, create what could easily be termed (with a cheeky wink) ‘babymaking music’.

This track, which had me on tenterhooks to hear ‘Rose In The Dark’, features some of the best production and musicality that I’ve heard all year.  Here is an instant classic.

Whilst ‘’When I’m in Your Arms’’ holds a special place for me, the debut project maintains a high standard from beginning to end.  My sole contention is its lack of up-tempo house and UK funky influenced vibes, which Cleo has successfully showcased in some of her earlier work.

Arguably these house / funky moments would be too much of a stylistic change from the consistently smooth jazz and soul sound fully explored here.  Perhaps her fans will be treated to a more up-tempo project in the future? I certainly hope so.

Regardless, in this modern musical era of all-too-important streaming wars and social media ‘clout-chasing’ by many musical acts, artists like Cleo and Inflo should be celebrated for creating a beautiful body of work that will stand the test of time.

In these dark times, such a rose really does shine through.

8/10
Written by Mark Williams 

Edited by Lee at The New Beatmaker

Be sure to join us in sharing, celebrating and exploring the music we love on social media:

Mark Influenced Podcast on Instagram
Mark Influenced Podcast on Facebook
Influenced Panel Playlists on Spotify
Influenced Panel on Youtube Coming Soon

Popular posts from this blog

Exploring and Celebrating New Music and its Roots

Hi, I'm Mark Williams, Host of 'Influenced'.  'Influenced' explores new music and makes connections back to previous musical generations via panel debates and interviews with artists, enthusiasts, media insiders and more. Accompanying playlists take the listener through our musical time travel in a mixtape fashion. Be sure to join me in sharing, celebrating and exploring the music that we all love on social media. Mark Influenced Podcast on Instagram Mark Influenced Podcast on Facebook Influenced Panel Playlists on Spotify Influenced Panel on Youtube Coming Soon

REVIEW: Seven Davis Jnr "ONE (Special Edition)

REVIEW :  Seven Davis Jnr Drops A New Version Of An Old EP 2014 I discovered Seven Davis Jnr when he dropped his FRIENDS EP.   The singer, Producer, Songwriter & rare Artist oozes talent. You can hear the influence of church in his progressive soulful house which makes sense as he trained as a gospel & jazz singer. Brought up on the vocal influences of artists such as Prince, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Other earlier influences include classical artists like Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Burt Bacharach. As Seven Davis Jr evolved, his interests navigated him into the mainstream/independent world where he began listening to a more diverse range of artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Portishead, The Fugees, The Beatles, Tricky, Bjork and of course the man we all come back to J Dilla who we show love to throughout season one especially Episode 4 House music & Jungle found a young teenage version of Seven Davis Jr in the city of San Franc

NEWS: ADIDAS YEEZY 700 RELEASES

NEWS : Yeezy 700 Sun, Bright Blue and Wave Runner With another Yeezy 700 to release shortly are we seeing a change in styling and colour palette from Adidas and Yeezy? To date the most popular / desired colourway in this silhouette is the Yeezy 700 “Wave Runner”. The  Yeezy Boost 700 "Wave Runner"  absolutely transformed the industry when it was first unveiled back in 2017 as part of Kanye West's Yeezy Season line-up. Yeezy Mafia recently confirmed that this shoe will be getting a major restock this year (predicted August). Officially dubbed the "Solid Grey", the "Wave Runner" is as premium as it gets. Colour blocked to perfection, light grey leather and suede panels are contrasted by stark black nubuck, while pops of turquoise mesh also add a touch of colour into the mix. This, combined with the use of "Semi Frozen Yellow" laces, results in an aesthetic that has certainly stood the test of time. However, following this the colour palette for