Album of the Week: Popol Vuh’s Das Hohelied Salomos (1975)

Popol Vuh have a few classics under their belt, but this is the jammiest. This is the one to smoke to. I mean, it literally starts out with a boom. Full of reverb and cymbal splashes, the atmosphere is so thick, the guitars so damn psychedelic, you might catch a contact high just listening to it.

The title translates to The Song of Solomon, and according to Light in the Attic, “the theme of the album is taken from biblical passages, using verses from King Salomon’s [sic] tales on The Old Testament.” I don’t understand singer Djong Yun’s lyrics any better than that of their high-water mark Hosianna Mantra (1972), but her voice is as lovely as ever. And just like on that album, she again sings “Hosianna”.

The second track “Du schönste der Weiber” starts off quite mellow, but builds up to a crescendo of Fichelscher’s positively face-stealing guitar. I only wish this track didn’t fade out so quickly. The fade-outs are probably my biggest gripe with an otherwise fantastic record.

On the second side, beginning with “Der Winter ist vorbei” (“The winter is over”), we have an added treat of sitar and tabla. To me, the tabla especially adds to the psychedelic groove that puts this band in an upper echelon of all-time rock groups. Sheesh. Spend an afternoon living in this one…

Listen to Das Hohelied Salomos here.

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