How did Saulo Oliveira S. manage to bottle up the lightning bolt that is the EP “Prince of Rock”

by Melissa Folmann, March 4th, 2022.

Prince of Rock Cover by Saulo Oliveira S.

Fortunately it has been considerable frequent moments in the recent music history that proves good compact EPs can be a delightful entertainment. In his EP “Prince of Rock” Saulo Oliveira proves that once more.

Saulo’s relation with music started when he was yet a child, he used to listen to Mozart while in the crib. After that, his childhood days were filled with his mother’s only company, the writing of short stories and singing The Beatles, The Doors, Pink Floyd, just to mention a few of his influences. He attended a notable private school in Curitiba city, Brazil, and, after High School, he graduated in Law at Pontifical Catholic University. Then he got his thesis published by Thomson Reuters, a law issue magazine. So far, his background is filled with learning and writing.

In 2013, he composed the score of Ethics, Politics and Citizenship, a documentary that he also wrote and directed, following the events of June Journeys in Brazil. Since then he never ceased to write his own lyrics, play piano and deliver new songs.

Having this in mind helps you to understand how something like Prince of Rock was possible. This new EP is filled in captivating well-written songs and excellent production. Every song tells a story and all the stories are interconnected.

The first song is an epileptic rain of words; the artist explores the use of metaphors, irony, and sarcasm, all engulfed in many symbolisms. In “Renewing Rock N Roll” the main character is concerned about not be who he is meant to be and seems to be divided between become a rockstar or just don’t make any move in that direction. That could be autobiographical, something that Saulo himself wanted to say but, it’s hard to tell as long as he is behind the alter-ego of Mackenzie.

The second song “That Liar Never Walked on The Water” is shocking, brutal and devastating. Anyone can tell by now that the artist is an openly average atheist, but, the impact of his pronouncing and claims in this one makes you feel it. Saulo screams so many times the phrase title of this song that the listeners may end believing that it’s better not to believe in anything at all.

This second part of the EP can be seen as Mackenzie MacNeil finally becoming who he is, a legend of Rock, unafraid and unapologetically determined to confront hypocrisy in many human institutions. Something that Saulo also seems to be.

The third song is a calm, soft and yet dense poem. The structure of “Monolith” is pure literature; you travel through verbs and rhymes to end in the beginning of the end. The EP is almost finishing and now it’s time to get ready to meet this mystical creature that is coming from out of the world through some portal, a monolith. Just like in 2001 — A Space Odyssey, another major influence in Oliveira’s creative way of thinking. One could say that this one coming is an alien, the Devil, the Antichrist but, considering the storyline of this project, it could just be Saulo himself coming along.

In “Mcneil”, the 4th and last song of this EP, something happened to the lyrical-self, he is finally possessed. Regan MacNeil, the girl from The Exorcist movie is mentioned and the singer affirms to feel like her but, to feel like her it doesn’t mean necessarily a bad thing. There’s some occultist vibe in Macneil, it’s tender and mysterious. Does he actually want to enthrone rituals of sex and magic? Well, the beat, the harmonica, the piano and violin, all played and mixed by Saulo, are really something else. The song ends with sirens and you tend to think whatever happened to the Prince of Rock, may he be fine.

After this journey, the only consolation possible is that the “repeat” button is one of the most comfortable inventions of modern world. And there’s this assumption that these four songs where only possible because Saulo Oliveira managed to be brave enough to conceive something outrageous and authentic. No matter the consequences and, good or not, they will come with time. No one is allowed to throw something like that and then expect to keep living a regular life. “Prince of Rock” is hunted at the same level his creator is hunting. It’s electrifying. A dangerous piece of art. Almost as if the artist had done something miraculously profane: Saulo bottled up a lightning bolt.

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