Robert Dahlqvist: Solo review

\"SoloAfter over a decade as guitarist for The Hellacopters, side projects like Thunder Express and Dundertaget and collaborations with the likes of Gluecifer, Flaming Sideburns and Backyard Babies, guitarist extraordinaire Robert Dahlqvist has finally decided to unleash his first official solo album for Despotz Records, ironically entitled Solo.

Let’s start by saying that if you want to hear another Hellacopters record, this is not the album for you. That has already been done. This is Dahlqvist trying to break free of the restraints of expectations to create something complex and refreshing while at the same time engaging, all the while making sure not to repeat himself musically.

Dahlqvist took two full years writing and recording Solo to ensure every song was different from the last, that each individual track would have a very personal and fragile sense of itself.

“I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart, that I have never been this proud of music I’ve created.” “It feels like my life’s work,” says Dahlqvist.

The resulting album is understated, unpretentious and introspective. It shows a contemplative maturity in the songwriting that is soulful and unassuming

Even though you may not understand all the lyrics, the sonic aura allows the message to somehow come shinning through, song after song.

Opener “Jag Va Kott Och Blod” is a beautiful acoustic number with layers of lush string arrangements, while the lead guitar work and ethereal melodies of “Det Tog En Lang Tid,” will bring to mind vintage Pink Floyd. “Redo Nan Gang,” is very NWOBHM akin to Tokyo Blade and “Vi Tar Baten” will enthrall fans of the Smiths or Morrissey.

“Ingrid Isabel,” is a surprisingly satisfying Tex/Mex flavored, spaghetti western-styled instrumental while “Sneseglaren,” sounds like classic 70’s or 80’s rock.

Lead single “Inte En Dag” is a perky infectious little melody, driven by non-stop percussion, some amazing female backing vocals and some really tasty leads and it’s obvious why it was chosen as first single.

Here’s the bottom line- If you are looking for the soundtrack to your next party with 100 crazed friends, again this is not the album for you, but if you’re looking for something to play in the background while you and a few friends hang out around the fire then this is perfect.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

-Eric Hunker