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Phil Lynott’s solo career debut album “Solo In Soho” is an honest and enjoyable album. The sound moves into many different styles, AOR, pop, funk and hard rock, even into electrical pop sounds in two tracks. Along with a lot of friends and excellent musicians (Supertramp’s Bob C.Benberg, Gary Moore, Brian Robertson, Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler, Huey Lewis, Snowy White, ex-Rainbow’s Jimmy Bain and, obviously, Gorham and Downey) Lynott record this album before Thin Lizzy broke up, three years later.
“Dear Miss Lonely Hearts” and “King’s Call” (dedicated to Elvis), the first two songs on the album, are the most similar to Thin Lizzy stuff, classic rock sound, and both became classics. Maybe the first sound a bit AOR curiously, because Bain was more into metal sound after being in Rainbow and Dio. The tiitle track “Solo In Soho” has got a reggae influence, and it’s alsoone of the finest moments of the record. “Girls” and “Yellow Pearl” (used as the theme for the legendary Top of the Pops program) are difficult to rate, I couldn’t imagine Thin Lizzy’s frontman making that type of music, so far away from the classic rock Lizzy’s used to do. I would call that songs “modern electrical pop”, I think, but I’m not really interested in that kind of music at all, so I don’t know if is correct or if it even exists that style. The rest, “Ode To A Black Man”, “Jamaica Rum” and “Talk In ‘79” are full of Lynott’s charisma and glamour on the lyrics and his voice, with some allusions to his influences (Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Robert Johnson).
In conclusion, “Solo In Soho” is an amusing album, not a masterpiece but a good release, in my opinion better and more succesful than the following one “The Phil Lynoyt Album”. It moves into many different styles, almost by track, the thing that makes Lynott’s solo albums different from Lizzy’s records. “Solo In Soho” seems more a break from Thin Lizzy and a meeting between friends than a serious intention to begin a solo career, anyway, I think every Lizzy fan will enjoy listening to it.