Salim Nourallah review….September 27, 2018….

SALIM NOURALLAH

SOMEWHERE SOUTH OF SANE

PALO SANTO RECORDS

BOY IN THE RECORD SHOP–LET GO OF THE NIGHT–RELIEF–RAINBOW DOLPHINS–WHITEHEART–MOVING MAN–GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS–A THOUSAND WAYS TO MISS YOU–EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN–A BETRAYAL–TUCUMCARI (RADIO VERSION)–SWEET AS A WEED–ROBOT–THE HEART WANTS WHAT THE HEART WANTS–I MISSED MY OWN LIFE–IS THIS WHERE THE TROUBLE BEGINS–CHOPPING BLOCK–COLD CUDDLE–FEBRUARY 23–LIFE SCHOOL–SLEEPWALKING

Salim Nourallah is the son of a Syrian immigrant, and, in a career that has seen him release seven albums, he has affectionately become known as the godfather of the Dallas, TX, indie music scene.  His seventh release is perhaps his most ambitious and powerful thus far, entitled “Somewhere South Of Sane,” a robust twenty-one tracks on a single CD that shows our hero at his most vulnerable, and seeks to serve as music for us souls who may be going through problems in our own lives.

With a quietly-unassuming vocal style that lies, er, somewhere south of the more melancholy side of Lennon, Salim leads off with a near-autobiographical tune of that young “Boy In The Record Store,” holding on to his “strange dream” of one day becoming a musician.  “Rainbow Dolphins” plays out as a classic love song, with references to “polar bears dancing with a broom,” and “dolphins spray-paint rainbows in the sky.” “Moving Man” explores the difficulties of being a single parent, while “I Missed My Own Life,” (this song written in 2008, and thus the oldest within the collection), deals with being a self-supporting musician trying to raise a family while life virtually passes you by.  “Cold Cuddle” was not originally intended to be on the album until Salim got a visit from a friend that had a close shave with death.  It has a strong Lennon and McCartney feel, fitting comfortably within the context of the set.  The album closes with the somber, placid “Sleepwalking.”  It traces two lovers for whom the “new” has worn off their relationship, and they go thru life just going thru the motions of the love that once was.

Literally wearing his heart on his sleeve with “Somewhere South Of Sane” is Salim Nourallah.  His intentions, tho, are well-founded, as his songs become more like photographs for one’s feelings, and this music is excellent therapy for coping with life’s problems.  It is indeed a brilliant opus from one of indie music’s most heralded players!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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