EFRAT GOSH 88 224.
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Haslicha Ve'ani (The Forgiveness and Me)
Efrat Gosh returns with a second quality album following her top-selling eponymous debut two years ago. Despite scoring great reviews back then, Gosh switched producers on this album, choosing to work with Nir Averbuch this time (who has arranged music for Broadway musicals and Hollywood TV shows) instead of singer-songwriter-producer Yoni Bloch (with whom Gosh regularly performs). The result is an album lacking mega hits like "Georgia" or "Pa'am Be'chaim" (Once in a Lifetime) that appeared on her debut, but still a soundly produced CD.
Whereas her first album's songs were written for her, this time around Gosh helped in writing some of the 11 tracks present. Her first single off the album "Lir'ot et Ha'or" proves that Gosh remains one of the country's most talented singers. The title track and the single "Kor Acharon" are further reminders of Gosh's talents. Her voice is rich and she easily changes styles from pop to jazz to a cappella.
While the album is first-class musically, Gosh's debut offered something fresh that this one seems to be missing. It could be that she made her first CD not knowing what critics would say or how fans would react, and thus her music sounded more daring. Here, she went into the studio knowing people expected a successful follow up, and as such armed herself with top songwriters, musicians, and an A-list producer. The overall product is impossible to ignore, whether you're a follower or not. There's a reason Gosh was dubbed the new "it" girl when she released her first album in 2005. Her voice is enchanting.
MOSH BEN ARI
As the name of this three-disc set suggests, Mosh Ben Ari performs live for fans at home. The first two CDs in this set are a recording of a concert given in front of 5,000 people in Tel Aviv in October of last year, with 10 backing musicians. The songs are reworked hits from Ben Ari's three top-selling solo albums. The dread-locked singer offers a more soulful rendition of "Derech" (Path), a wonderful duet with Din Din Aviv on "Veod Yom" (Another Day), a more guitar heavy "Monsoon" with Berry Sakharoff, and an unusual, and louder, collaboration of "Jah is One" with Fools of Prophecy and Mook-e.
This CD set focuses on Ben Ari's performance skills - and the snippets of audience reaction in between songs proves that he is at the top of his game. The 16 songs here show off Ben Ari's splendid mix of rock, soul, reggae and world music. It is near impossible not to bop along to this album. The third disc in this set is a DVD of eight songs from the live show. Watching it makes the viewer want to make sure she's in the audience next time Ben Ari takes the stage.