Shoolie: Puzzles

Rich in imagery and metaphor; Shoolie's "Puzzles" delivers a sweet and youthful celebration about life, love, and loss. The content and style of his writing conveys a light and hopeful enthusiasm; while the subject matter and themes are universal and relateable, making this spoken word album widely accessible and appropriate for broad and varied audiences. Shoolie successfully animates his work with passion and emotion, which, when paired with his metaphorical visual landscape can be insightful and thought provoking. However, while “Puzzles” is an easy and pleasurable listen, to its own detriment, is also very predictable and safe. The curve of tone and rhythmic intonation follows a standard “spoken word poem” trajectory, which formulaically emphasizes the pronunciation of particular words and phrases to follow them with a pause for effect. The general rhythm of each poem lacks variance and may, therefore, risk losing the attention of the audience. “Puzzles” also manages to only narrowly avoid an over-punctuation of sentimentality and comes dangerously close to being trapped by cheesy empiricism. Yet; even in his rhythmic predictability and potential-to-be-overused sentiments, what Shoolie does offer - undoubtedly- is strength in his writing and the ability to call attention to the complexities of the human experience using a lush and textured set of descriptions. As he negotiates a command of language and enigmatic expression, he postulates insightful and invoking commentaries by successfully weaving a combination of metaphors throughout each work. So, while I absolutely recommend becoming acquainted with this emerging artist, I do so with the foresight of knowing that with time and experience he has the potential to go from “good” to phenomenal.


Shoolie: Yes, he can.