8 Aug 2020
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Sola Rosa - Single Review: For The Mighty Dollar Feat. Kevin Mark Trail

01 Jul 2020 // A review by Jason Peters

Sola Rosa aka Andrew Spraggon is in a unique position in his career to be able to collaborate with some of the planet's best musicians, and on the second single from the forthcoming album Chasing The Sun he has hit the musical jackpot. The track kicks off with horns, sparse funk guitar and classic strings before kicking into the cool and catchy chorus. The first thing that hits me is the production, warm and crisp with a modern take on that classic vintage 60's/70's funk and soul vibe. The second thing is the wonderfully soulful vocals by Kevin Mark Trail and Basement Jaxx collaborator Sharlene Hector.

When the track drops into the verse we are introduced to UK singer, songwriter, producer and The Streets collaborator Kevin Mark Trail. Kevin delivers superb vocals here. His powerful lyrics address his viewpoint that money has been placed as the most important thing in the world and the divide between the rich and poor are still very wide. He states that many governments and corporations are still corrupt. Inequality, sexism, racism and injustice continue to reign. Heavy themes indeed. Sharlene has a silky soulful grit to her delivery in the choruses, a lovely performance that's powerful and direct. I also dig her harmonies infused into the end of the song too.

The accompanying video focuses on the recent Covid-19 lockdown with poignant shots of Auckland deserted and locals navigating their way through this new way of living. The themes raised by director Elliot O'Donnell are that society has become interdependent and tightly bound to capitalism and with it comes increased anxiety are all very relevant themes in the current global pandemic financial crisis of 2020.

Musically this track is sharp and tight. Crisp funk beats provided by Julien Dyne lay down the foundation for the rest of the band to add their sweet icing on top. The addition of a fuzzed-out guitar halfway through the track is also a nice addition. A beautiful performance here all round by these A-lister session musos.

This track is my bag, funk and soul perfectly entwined with conscious lyrics, it's sexy, smooth and on point. For the Mighty Dollar features excellent production, simple but effective writing and superb playing. This tune could easily be added to the Oceans 11+ movie franchise, especially with the money theme prevalent throughout. Andrew and co have delivered two mint singles from his forthcoming album now, I can't wait to hear what else is on offer soon.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Sola Rosa

Since 1999 Sola Rosa’s Andrew Spraggon has been tantalising listeners with otherworldly aural experiences, honing his craft and taking Sola Rosa from a self-released one man project to fully-fledged live powerhouse along the way. He’s kept good company on the road and in the studio, Sola Rosa counting members of Dimmer, Goldenhorse, Pluto and Sommerset amongst the ranks over the years, not to mention pilfering the best members of Che Fu, King Kapisi and Anika Moa’s bands and tapping the talents of internationally renowned artists like Nathan Haines and Spikey Tee. Add to the mix a succession of highly regarded releases the world over on stunning labels that include household names Ministry of Sound, Guidance, Different Drummer, Stereo Deluxe, and Satellite K, and you’ll see why so many eager ears and heavy-lidded eyes are always fixed to fasten on what Sola Rosa does next.

First coming to local music-lovers’ attention as guitarist and vocalist for angular rock band Cicada in the 90s, over the course of the last 9 years Spraggon has been on the receiving end of a Tui (2001’s 'Solarized'), b-net awards (for 2000’s 'Entrance To Skyway' and 2003’s 'Haunted Out-takes'), and a bevy of other accolades and nominations as Sola Rosa, but there’s little doubt when pressing play on 2009's 'Get It Together' that it is his finest accomplishment to date. Taking in a wide swathe of genres, and walking an ever-erratic line between organic and electronic elements, Sola Rosa’s songs continue to pull off Spraggon’s patented trick of electrifying your ears while ensuring that your feet don’t get confused along the way. Three years in the making, 'Get It Together' is best differentiated from its predecessors by a more beat-driven, direct, dance-demanding sound.

Picking up where the performance-based 'Moves On' album left off in 2005, there’s a sweating, smoking live band at the heart of the new record, made up of long-term members of the Rosa roster - Will Scott (drums), Matt Short (bass), and Ben White (guitar). Spraggon studio sorcery has then come into play, tooling up 'Get It Together' for maximum dancefloor impact, and bolstering the album with a roll-call of vocalists, musicians, and compositional contributors running headlong into Sola Rosa’s sonic stirrings at full force – with vocal cuts from Spikey Tee (best known for his work with Jah Wobble, Bomb The Bass, Mark Rae and on some of Sola Rosa’s finest moments); German globetrotter, poet, and singer Bajka; UK MC Serocee; and emerging Wellingtonian songstress Iva Lamkum. Underpinning these outstanding lyrical performances and further illuminating the album’s instrumentals you’ll find an eclectic batch of collaborators that includes the likes of Victoria Kelly, Julien Dyne, Juse, Scratch 22, Hadyn Godfrey, John Highsted, James Duncan, and Miguel Fuentes (who’s played with Isaac Hayes, George Benson, Grover Washington, Patti La Bell and other luminaries).

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Sola Rosa

Releases

Chasing The Sun
Year: 2020
Type: Album
In Spaces
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Magnetics
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Solarized (Refreshed)
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Low And Behold, High And Beyond
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Get It Together - The Remixes
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Get It Together
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Moves On
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Haunted Out Takes
Year: 2003
Type: Album
The Ready Now EP
Year: 2003
Type: EP
Solarized
Year: 2001
Type: Album
Entrance To Skyway
Year: 2001
Type: EP

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