Artist/ Band: Roine Stolt
Title: Wall Street Voodoo
Label: InsideOut Music
Year of Release: 2005
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

The Review:

I am a fan of all things Stolt but in all honesty when I heard he was releasing a solo album, a double one, I wasn’t sure why since every band Roine’s been in has a familiar, dare I say samey at times feel to it. But in the tradition of an open minded music fan, I welcomed his new release, Wall Street Voodoo. After listening to this album several times, this is a different animal than what we’ve been accustomed to with his own band The Flower Kings or his side projects with Transatlantic, The Tangent, and even the reunited Kaipa. He has achieved what few artists have done, to create a solo album separated from a sound best known for.

Wall Street Voodoo is a tribute to Roine’s earliest inspirations, mostly focusing primarily on a straight-up blues rock emphasizing on Stolt's guitar playing. Some of the songs have that late-60's era political protest style lyrics Joining Roine on this double album with over 115 minutes of music are two of Stolt's band mates in The Flower Kings: Hasse Bruniusson on percussion and new drummer Marcus Liliequist (also on Tomas Bodin's I Am album earlier this year). The other musicians, however are only made known to the listener under assumed names such as on bass, a guy called Victor Woof; Slim Pothead on piano, Hammond and keyboard duties and percussionist named Gonzo Geffen (also credited with 'loop treatments'). The only other “real name” on the album is that of Neal Morse. This is the first time in almost 3 years that Roine and Neal recorded together. Neal contributes many vocal duties as well as several Hammond solos. Roine repaid this by guesting on Neal’s new solo album called “?”. I noticed that one of my favorite songs “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, could have easily been on a third Transatlantic album. Other favorites are on the first disc, "Spirit of the Rebel" and "Unforgiven". On the second disc, the opening track, "The Unwanted", "Remember" and "It's All About Money". These songs alone would have made a killer album if we were back in the day of vinyl and cassette length releases.

One thing is clear after several listens, fan of Roine’s or not, you’ll find Wall Street Voodoo to be a fantastic album to listen to from start to finish. It’s a nice look back to when music was in a more organic form with no crunchy guitars or other modern nuances best known in rock music today. Each song is crafted with care to give a timeless feel to it, which again is not always present in music today. Roine also utilises more modern soundscapes and funky rhythms which helps to bridge a gap for younger listeners to enjoy as well.

I’m very glad that Roine gave us Wall Street Voodoo when he very well could have give another progressive rock epic. Maybe next solo album he could aim for an album of shorter pop tunes that he touched upon here. I would whole heartedly recommend this to fans of soulful bluesy guitar playing of the early 60's as the more intelligent sounding pop music. Plus fans of all things Roine, will enjoy this as well, especially the open-minded ones such as myself. This is one of the better solo albums in modern prog as well as one of the better releases of 2005.

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on Janaury 3rd, 2005


Disc One
1. The Observer (11:05)
2. Head Above Water (5:25)
3. Dirt (8:15)
4. Everyone Wants to Rule the World (4:05)
5. Spirit of the Rebel (6:10)
6. Unforgiven (3:00)
7. Dog with a Million Bones (8:10)
8. Sex Kills (7:20)
9, Outcast (7:50)

Disc Two
1. The Unwanted (9:00)
2. Remember (6:55)
3. It's All About Money (8:05)
4. Everybody is Trying to Sell You Something (6:55)
5. Hotrod ( The Atomic Wrestler) (9:10)
6. Mercy (2:40)
7. People That Have the Power to Shape the Future (11:05)

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