Barely three years since they stepped into Kenya’s musical scene and the story has been of the rise and rise of Sautisol! Last Christmas they gave their fans a gift, first album Mwanzo. Another holiday and the gift is Solfilosofia, the much-anticipated sophomore album that was recorded in the plush Svenska gramaphone studios in Sweden during their recent 3 month-long European tour. The first time Chimano told me of the title ‘Solfilosofia’ I thought to myself, ” quite wordy.” But after listening to the whole album, the jigsaw is complete.
The soft drums fused in Polycarp’s guitar create an alluring opening into the album’s first song. It’s a story about a girl crying. She is fed up of life’s troubles, a reflection of us at some point. We have all had troubled days leaving us wishing that heaven would come down on us if the world won’t swallow us already. This is an inspiring song, not gospel but very spiritual because deep down, most of us really want go to heaven when the time comes. P.s that electric guitar really kills it at the end!
This is the Lazizi of Solfilosofia, a simple ballad. Just like in Lazizi Polycarp’s fancy fingers on the guitar starts up the song’s rhythm, and in the same comparison Delvin does justice to the opening verse. It’s a plea to the undecided girl to come love him, marry him, have his kids. It’s a continuation to Subira and Zosi from Mwanzo. It’s not, ‘be careful girl’, like Zosi or ‘goodbye you were too choosy’ like Subira, but the lyrics have matured to, ‘Its time, just come marry me!’ Perfect dedication to a girl. This one needs a very sweet music video with a solid story line.
3.Coming home 4.42
This one is a classic, no doubt. Afro-acoustic soul meets rumba. The lyrics are deep, we all know of people we love who have travelled far away or even passed away. Everytime we think of the miles away, it feels so sad. The thought of a reunion usually gives us a glimpse of hope. The boys sing about this instance. I didn’t like the rumba bit much, probably because I preferred the first part of the song but then again. Love the cello at the end! So love + don’t like + love= Loved the song! Watch the video now=>
4. Soma kijana
One of my favourite tracks! First because of the Kwaito sound, it’s so catchy, makes you just want to swing! Then Sauti are singing in unison? How cool is that? Kind of like a very sane choir. The second part of the song is plain Daudi Kabaka. I salute Sauti for making such a classic song, not to forget the powerful lyrics urging the youth to pursue education as there’s no getting younger. Watch the video here
One of my replay tracks. If I wasn’t of Luo decent, there is nothing I would have rather wanted to be as French or Luhya! Sauti make Lunje sound so good! I sing to all their Lunje songs not knowing what they mean. This song is a true indication that music comes from the heart. You can feel the subtle intensity of this one even without the ability to understand Lunje. It’s the first song in the album to bring out Bien’s vocal prowess! I remember the first time I heard this song at one of their rehearsal’s, I shed a tear not knowing what they were singing about. I later learnt that the song is a tribute to all the mamas out there who defy boundaries in pursuit of working hard just so raise their kids. P.s Bien’s mum is called Awinja. Enough said.
If songs had sisters then Nambee would be related to Mbinguni. It’s like a pied piper song, you just want sing to it and join the bandwagon. The message is on how people are always fast to rant about life’s struggles to rarely take time to thank God for what he has done for us. This one is more of an inspirational track. Its upbeat tempo renders it fit for a dance probably at a concert, at home or even in church. I love the first bridge where they do an acapella. Chimano says that, “Avandu vashiri khumanya mwina mukali, ni papa aliye mbiguni” means, ‘We all don’t know but there is one who’s most high who watches over us, He is in heaven’. P.s you must see Sautisol perform this one live, usually ELECTRIC!
8. L.A.D.Y 5.15
This is one of Sauti’s oldest tracks having been written around 3 years ago. For some strange reason the boys never loved it much to include it in the first album. I always told them how nice it would be to have it recorded, so glad that they finally came to their senses :-) It’s a baby making jam by all standards. Bien’s vocals are just amazing, they would make any sane woman fall in love with him if not the song already! The song’s lyrics are poetic and a perfect gift to all the gentlemen out there in pursuit of a lady. The song sounds like something Boyz2Men would effortlessly do! Yes, i did compare them to Boyz2Men :-) Special shout out to Andrew on that bass guitar!
9. Row your boat 4.15
Polycarp’s fingers mixed in the cello are at it again! Special shout out to Lennart Esbornn for stroking the cello. Chimano’s vocals shine in this one and did he pull an Ayub Ogada somewhere at the start? Inspired by the famous round song, this rendition is a traditional story about a young boy whose father is a fisherman. The boy would like to be like his father. It sounds like a good soundtrack for a movie. I pray that all the big movie producers bump into this one, Sauti kaching’! $$$$$$$ P.s the last 30 secs of the song is plain orgasmic leaving you wanting more!
Why Sofia? Why oh why? My name is Rosey! I wonder why Sauti wouldn’t just use my name or is it that bad? On a serious note, this song is an immediate continuation to the Mwanzo feel. You want to be chilling in your room jamming to this, you want to hear it over that dinner, you must have it in your iPod. And by now, you must have already realized that songs that start with Delvin’s verse are serious ballads! Delvo, thanks. When you love someone then they break your heart and leave you, deep down we always feel that one day, the ones who lost us will miss us and realize that we were the best they ever had. Sauti insist that Sophia isn’t a particular girl but just a representation of us. Those who loved us or hurt us. Nway shame on you Sophia.
11. Private Spice 3.55
This is proof of their consistent versatility. Another reggae song and is that Delvin chanting at the beginning? It’s simply a song about appreciating life’s little pleasures :-) Chimano is rapping, it’s sure is the apocalypse!
12. Sol Generation
Sautisol doing a rock song? A powerful song with a message for the youth to stand up to the opportunities beforehand because they are God chosen soul generation. I really love the bridge, really sounds like something Kings of Leon would do. Special shout out to Polycarp’s hands on that electric guitar and i also want to be a sol generation :-)
Many critics dismissed this album even before its release, something that made me wonder why some Kenyans just want to see budding artists fail or loose stamina. I am confident that they will continue to sour high. I salute their efforts.
This album is different as compared to Mwanzo. It’s not a plateau but a musical journey, one that takes you up and down the hills of different mature sounds leaving you feeling nourished after the gist of the journey’s experience. The album mastering is up to standard, in summary its their philosophy fused in Sofia, remember the girl who represents all of us? Product= SOL FILOSOFIA
Bonus: special shout out to Andrew, Peter, Nynke, Bien, Delvo, Ballgum and my sidekick, Chim.