Sabra Sounds

The latest Tea Packs album was released a few months ago. But because of its ultra-thin album cover, the CD got lost between other discs and was only recently rescued from the "to be reviewed" pile.

tea packs 88 298 disk (photo credit: )
tea packs 88 298 disk
(photo credit: )
TEA PACKS Radio/Music/Hebrew (Hed Arzi) The latest Tea Packs album, Radio/Music/Hebrew, was released a few months ago. But because of its ultra-thin album cover, the CD got lost between other discs and was only recently rescued from the "to be reviewed" pile. The witty opening track, "Perach Hashchunot" (Flower from the 'Hood), features comedian Alma Zak and serves as a prime introduction to what this album is all about: clever lyrics that satirically jab at life in contemporary Israel. "Perach" is about suspicious talent agents and young Israelis working as waiters while dreaming of stardom. It's quite funny. Another hit off the album is "Ten Li Hatima" (Give Me an Autograph), a clever reinvention of a traditional Moroccan song that here is been turned into an ode to obsessive fans. "Ten Li Hatima" might be seen as Israel's version of the Eminem-Dido collaboration "Stan," in which the rapper performs from the perspective of a fanatic admirer between verses sung by the English chanteuse. Throughout Radio/Music/Hebrew's songs, the Tea Packs also lampoon the incurably depressed Israeli, the industrialization of everything in Israel, travel and post-army study, and the current state of national affairs. The full Tea Packs band has reunited for this effort after lead singer Kobi Oz, who went on a solo expedition last year, rejoined his fellow musicians for their ninth studio album. The group again offers a fusion of musical styles, though the album is lighter on the Mizrahi pop that so influenced previous discs. This collection includes elements of rock, hip hop and Moroccan rhythms alongside folk and hora-like beats. The band hosts a number of guest singers and styles on this album, including pop princess Miri Mesika ("Kloov Shel Zahav"/A Golden Cage), rapper Shachar Suissa ("Ahava Rishona"/First Love) and MC Shiri ("Ocher Simcha"/Party Killer), among others. As for the album cover, it is an amusing cartoon of all the musicians taking part in the CD's production. Tea Packs albums are always fun and biting, and Radio/Music/Hebrew is no exception. DAFNA VE'HA'OOGIOT Self-titled (Hatav Hashmini) Dafna Ve'Ha'Oogiot, whose name translates in English to Dafna and the Cookies, are hoping to take over Israeli rock with their energetic, contemporary, warped tunes. The group of six musicians include soloist and lyricist Dafna Keinan, Tamar Ziv (saxophone, wind instruments) and Dan-ya Schwartz (background vocals, guitars), as well as siblings Or, Tal and Inbal Zobelsky. After more than two years on the club circuit, the sextet laid down 13 original tracks for their debut album. The group is all about having fun, and consequently doesn't work too hard to conform to Israeli rock norms. They happily mix satirical and often scathing lyrics with varying musical styles. "Haver Aravi" (Arab Friend) takes a look at inequality and racism with its story of an Israeli woman and her Palestinian boyfriend. "Ta'amini" (Believe) is a witty song nearly everyone can relate to about getting through life's ups and downs. The group emphasizes in its promotional material how important it was to bring the live feel of concerts to the album. Indeed, the songs here are packed with noise and oomph; somehow, they still come out sounding overly produced. Nevertheless, the album is great fun to listen to, with rock, pop, folk and cabaret all blended together.