December 23, 2022
Rose in the Dark Blooms Beautifully
Since the world first stopped from the pandemic crisis, many artists and musicians have been inspired and more creative than ever before. An artist that continues to show inspirational growth and dimension is Cleo Sol. The soulful 2020 album Rose in the Dark emphasizes representational references to change, humanity, vulnerability, and love.
Cleopatra Nikolic was born from an impressive musical lineage and shared the namesake of a historic ruler over Egypt. Her parents were active in a jazz band, with her mom as a singer that played the guitar and flute. Her dad played the bass and piano. And these musical influences are unashamedly noticeable throughout the album. Professionally known as Cleo Sol, she hails from London, England, and released the beautifully reflective and executed project, Rose in the Dark, on August 21, 2020. The funk and soul-influenced masterpiece feature eleven songs that take you on a funktastic journey through the album’s messages.
With a more robust representation of paying homage, the Sol in her name represents the Spanish word for sun, aligning with the singer/songwriter’s half-Spanish heritage. Rose in the Dark is the professional debut album for Cleo Sol. However, her first EP project, Winter Songs, was released in 2018. The album’s title track is a beautiful and soulful ballad that involves the singer introspectively reviewing her life and life’s journey. A powerfully resonating line within the song states,
“Tell my younger self to enjoy the ride.”
Collaboratively written by Cleo and Dean Josiah Cover and produced by Inflo, sonically, the sounds of the production effortlessly transport the listener back to the mid to late 70s, boasting laid-back and musically melodic sounds. Butterfly is another album gem featuring powerful introspective lyrics like: “Running out of faith, but your wings are still bright.”
Often society allows us to become distracted by outside influences that lead to unhappiness. Butterfly soulfully reminds us that we must nurture our inner peace and be mindful of the voices and opinions that dictate how we see ourselves and our personal growth. Even the accompanying video to Butterfly is beautifully simplistic, much like the late 90s and early 2000s when artists wanted to portray authentic emotion.
Lastly, the song Sideways graciously compliments the softness of her vocals, reminiscent of the past. Rose in the Dark will likely be labeled a classic neo-soul album with high recommendations from musical enthusiasts worldwide. Since Rose in the Dark, Cleo has released another professional project titled Mother, which celebrates her musical and personal growth as a new mother. Cleo continues to showcase that she is a rose that continues to bloom as the years’ progress.