When Perry Farrell throws a party, everyone is welcome to join in and have a good time. His latest venture finds him offering up a variety of tunes created with friends to tell a story about artists and visionaries, called The Solutionists, coming together to make the world a better place through creativity and spreading love. It sounds corny in these cynical times, and will be easily dismissed and scoffed at by moody, modern hipsters, but for anyone who has followed Farrell’s career, he sincerely believe it’s the way forward. Hell, the idea is so crazy it just might even work if people give it a chance.
The album opens begins “Wish Upon A Dog Star” co-written by Joy Division/New Order’s Peter Hook, a perfect last name for a musician as evidenced by this song with its captivating bass line, certain to “get your groove on” out on the dance floor. “Only Love, Let’s Celebrate” lays the plan out pretty clearly. The song’s chorus takes from Rare Earth’s “I Just Wanna Celebrate” and repeats its message like a mantra. There’s good guitar work by Nuno Bettencourt, which unfortunately gets buried in the mix at times, but gets to periodically shine through.
If you are curious what the Red Hot Chili Peppers would sound like with Farrell on vocals, “Hard Life Easy” finds him joined by guitarist John Frusciante and bassist Flea, the latter of whom collaborates with Farrell every ten years. In the late ‘80s, he played trumpet on Jane’s Addiction “Idiot’s Rule” and in the late ‘90s he played bass on a couple of Porno for Pyros tracks. The song narrows the scope of love from humanity to the one person who makes “my hard life easy.”
“The Solutionists” is a remake of “Revolution Solution,” a previous collaboration between Farrell and Thievery Corporation off their 2005 The Cosmic Game. The lyrics are the same but the music is different, like an audio fraternal twin. It’s an exotic-sounding, dreamy trip, like nothing else on the album, yet it fits.