On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Ojos de Brujo – Tiempo de solea (2002)
Ojos de Brujo (“Sorcerer Eyes” in English) was a nine-piece band from Barcelona who describe their style as “jipjop flamenkillo” ( hip-hop with a little flamenco). The band sold over 100,000 copies of their self-produced Barí album, and has received several awards, among these the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award for Europe in 2004 (having also been nominated in 2003).
Welcome to 2002, dear reader. We leave behind the UK today and make our way across the English Channel and head on over to Spain. Formed in 1998 in Barcelona, Ojos de Brujo, which means Sorcerer Eyes, specialised in a hybrid of hip hop and flamenco that was known as jipjop flamenkillo. We join them in 2002 and 1001 Songs have gone with a track by the name of Tiempo de solea.
Tiempo de solea translates as Solea Time, and Solea is regarded as a simple form of flamenco. The song here thrives on a fast guitar and has Marina Abad on the vocals. Lyrically, the song seems to be quite intricate. It appears to have a protagonist wandering down a street and taking in various sights as they pass individual homes and scenes by. They sound as if they are distressed though. Nothing seems to bring them any comfort, not even Solea Time. The imagery here is of a city in decline, awaiting some ill tidings on the horizon. Solea Time sounds like it may offer sanctuary and escapism to some but not to the narrator.
I was not familiar with Ojos de Brujo (really?) nor do I speak Spanish so I had to find a translation (what a surprise, you ignorant linguist). Tiempo de solea was very catchy and engaging throughout. Both Abad’s voice and that frenetic guitar make this one absorbing ride from start to finish. The group continued for just over a decade, enjoying success back home and receiving awards overseas, before finally disbanding in 2011.
Favourite songs so far: