This album is a strange and enticing blend of musical and cultural influences. The seven songs feature Hebrew lyrics woven into a mellow pop-folk mode of expression. The combination of American singer Danya Uriel’s sweet high voice and Israeli guitarist Eyal Rivlin’s evocative playing gives the listener a sense of laid-back welcoming. The melodies are lyrical and gentle on the ears.

The lyrics of these prayer-songs are drawn from Hebrew mantras that reflect ideas from the Kabbalah, Kirtan and chanting. The hard-copy CD has extensive liner-notes that translate and explain the intentions of songs.

Track 3, “Taste of Love,” mixes English and Hebrew. This song sounds like a magical chant, both hopeful and compelling. The strong cello lead in the intermediate section adds romance. Track 4 “V’taher” returns to the slow, mellow pop-folk idiom with an unusually expressive fiddle providing a duet with the vocal lines. Track 5 “Ima” concentrates the vocal component with airy harmonies floating over guitar accompaniment. Track 6 “Ana el Na” has a plaintive and more insistent message. The album ends with “Shalom” is the most rhythmic and cheerful song on the album, a well-wishing anthem that is more pleasant and less cheesy than “Kum-by-yah”.

This CD offers low-key, laid-back, unplugged, and unashamedly folk-style music. It is sweet and has a mildly world-mysticism feel throughout. It’s music for a flower child’s kibbutz campfire. Recommended for people who enjoy the mellow touch for relaxing and ritualizing.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Temple
Sounds True, 2007
57:22 min. MP3 $9.49

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