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Friday, July 31, 2009

Solar Plexus, Sweden

Solar Plexus - s/t. 1972 Odeon.
Solar Plexus - Solar Plexus 2. 1973 Odeon.
Solar Plexus - Det Är Inte Båten Som Gungar - Det Är Havet Som Rör Sig. 1974 EMI-Harvest.
Solar Plexus - Hellre Gycklare Än Hycklare (Sweden) 1975 EMI-Harvest.

The self titled album is two LPs of groovy jazz psych. Organ, electric piano (with lots of effects applied), guitar, bass and active drumming. Primarily instrumental, though with a few Swedish vocals that add a joyful disposition to the mix. Even some elements of Bacharachian pop lounge, and when combined with the Swedish vocals, makes for an interesting smorgasbord. Side 3 is a long suite for classical orchestra and jazz rock, and is definitely the weakest portion of the album. The idea is good, but it's poorly executed, with long stretches of noodling/down time. But the other 3 sides are exemplary, and thus a Tier 1 album that is in definite need of a CD reissue.

I feel that "Solar Plexus 2" is a huge drop off in quality from the first. Sounds as if they wanted to be the Swedish equivalent of Blood Sweat and Tears, but without the horn section. Plenty of lounge, gospel and pop tinged tracks with only one interesting instrumental towards the end of the album. Disappointing considering the strength of the debut.

"Det Är Inte Båten Som Gungar - Det Är Havet Som Rör Sig" sees Solar Plexus back on track, though still not at the level of the debut. But most of the overt commercial moves of the second album have been traded in for a more jazzy approach, which helps.

I haven't heard the 4th album, but have been advised it's the weakest of the bunch.

Priority: 2 (based on the strength of the first album)

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