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Cleo Sol drops two golden albums back-to-back


     The Neo-Soul subgenre of R&B has been known for its silky-smooth tones, crisp rim shots and soothing natural sounds. Ever since it became popular in the 90’s with Erykah Badu being one of the most prominent faces of Neo-Soul, this spirit-satisfying type of music has birthed some more-than-outstanding artists. One of these artists is Cleo Sol.

     The UK-born artist has had her share of hits in the past few years, one of her most popular being “When I’m in Your Arms,” released in 2020. In my opinion, she is one of the best R&B artists of the last few years. Her calm and gentle voice mixed with her raw and positive tones throughout her music made her stand out. Her first album, “A Rose in the Dark,” has been one of the best listens I’ve had. Although she is not known by many, the lucky few who know her have been able to enjoy the two gems she has recently released.

     She had announced her third studio album, “Heaven,” in an Instagram post. I was extremely excited to be getting an album from her since she hasn’t released since 2021. On Sep. 15, 2023, the album was released on all streaming platforms. To no surprise for Sol’s fans, it was nothing but a delight to listen to from start to finish. Later on, Cleo Sol expressed her love for her fans by announcing a surprise second album that she would be releasing that month. On Sep. 29, 2023, her fourth studio album, “Golden,” was released. This release was two weeks after “Heaven” dropped.

     Both “Heaven” and “Gold” were wonderful, and arguably some of the best music released this year. Through both of these albums, she includes songs for bad situations the listener may be going through. There are songs like “Miss Romantic” for those dealing with a toxic breakup, or “Old Friends” for those letting go of a harmful friendship. What I love about songs like those is that rather than Cleo Sol just singing about it or telling a story, she’s encouraging and speaking positively during the song. She consistently brings a positive vibe to the two albums. “Things Will Get Better” and the title track “Heaven” have been my go-to songs for bad days. The production of the albums has stood out to me. Every song has a soothing and relaxed instrumental behind it and makes it feel like they were specifically crafted to make you feel better.

     The blend of her beautiful vocals, natural sound and the choir singing background on some songs, have come together in harmony to create the two masterpieces that Cleo Sol has recently released. I love listening to them while I’m out for a long walk. Her uncut and raw emotions in “Please Don’t End it All” and “Lost Angel” have almost brought me to tears, and songs like those are what show her humanity. If you haven’t heard these albums, or haven’t even heard of Cleo Sol, I strongly advise you to give her a listen.

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