Sabra Sounds

While he's proven himself champion of melancholic tunes, the last thing music fans needed was another album of gloomy ballads.

Arkadi Duchin 88 (photo credit: )
Arkadi Duchin 88
(photo credit: )
Arkadi Duchin knew expectations would be high for his latest studio album, Adult Dreams. In the wake of his 2004 CD, More of Me, which included the huge hit "Who Loves You More Than I Do," Duchin had fans and critics guessing whether he could continue his success. While he's proven himself champion of melancholic tunes, the last thing music fans needed was another album of gloomy ballads. No one knew this better, apparently, than Duchin, who returns to his rock roots on Adult Dreams. There is just one gentle ballad on this album, "Rega Lifnay" (A Moment Before), and it's the last track. The rest of the music here is rock and roll, with elements of electronic rock appearing on a number of the tracks. The music is a reflection of Duchin's original inspirations: Neil Young, Pink Floyd and the Beatles. One could even argue that his title track has a spoonful of Air in it as well. The single "He and She" shows off Duchin's ability to mix soft and hard rock - the song has a quiet rock body and a hard rock chorus. As for lyrics, Duchin has always written from the heart, and here is no different. From the album's opening lines, the listener realizes that Duchin isn't dealing in saccharine. He tells of his fears and dreams, with lyrics about drugs, love and dread. Duchin co-wrote the album with Gilad Kahana and Ariel Horowitz but composed the music and produced all 13 tracks himself. Adult Dreams is an album for those who liked Duchin's work in the 1990s, with the musician's guitar (electric and acoustic) back in the spotlight. Since his start, Duchin's talent has never in question, and Adult Dreams only further certifies his ability. Sheila Ferber, the grrrl rocker who released her debut album three years ago, is back with a second offering, Matok Shachor. Her 2003 album was all angst and rage, and while Matok Shachor is more optimistic, it is by no means cheery. Ferber turned to Daniel Solomon for production help this time, and it is his input that gives the music a more upbeat feeling. That said, Ferber hasn't gone soft. No one will tell her what to do, what to sing or how to feel. Her lyrics are a strong point on this album. The best example is the third track, in which she sings about a guy who obviously pissed her off and tells him she'll sing about him whether he likes it or not. She shows off her wit on Track 5, "Ezeh Zahav," crooning about love gone wrong to a cheerful beat. Most of the time, however, Ferber is Israel's own PJ Harvey/Joan Jett hybrid, proving that grrrl rock is alive and well here, even if the number of artists in the field are but a few.