Sabra Sounds

Not long ago, a friend came to visit and asked me if I'd heard the new Rona Kenan CD and wanted to know if I would like it as a present. If I didn't already have it, I would have gladly accepted it as a gift.

kenan disk 88 298 (photo credit: )
kenan disk 88 298
(photo credit: )
RONA KENAN Through Foreign Eyes (Einayim Zarot) (NMC) Not long ago, a friend from Jerusalem came to visit. She asked me if I'd heard the new Rona Kenan CD and wanted to know if I would like it as a present. If I didn't already have it, I would have gladly accepted it as a gift. The Israeli singer-songwriter has put together a great sophomore album. Whereas on her debut Breathing Down to Zero, critics lauded her as the next Chava Alberstein, on her second solo album Kenan reminds one of Yehudit Ravitz. But most of all the rock singer-songwriter best exemplifies herself. Like her first offering, she again presents a beautiful and personal rock album both musically and lyrically. Her melodies are concise and passionate, her texts are personal, and her presentation is sensitive and honest. The album's tunes fall into the Israeli rock category, though Kenan also offers some groovy jazz harmonies on "My Prison By the Sea" and "Be'maarechet Hadam". The album includes 10 songs written and composed by Kenan. Popular tracks also include "Strange Dance of the Heart" (a duet with singer Gidi Gov) and "Hapa'am Haachrona". There is also a bonus disc with five cover songs and a video clip of "Through Foreign Eyes". Local music critics hailed the now 28-year-old Kenan as a "promising talent" back when she was 18. Her debut album proved the buzz to be true. This second release only further confirms her talent. HEDVA AMRANI Hashir Hanachon (The Right Song) (Hatav Hashmini) Thirteen years after her last solo album, one of Israel's most famous singers Hedva Amrani is back with a new CD, The Right Song. The Yemenite singer, who was behind mega hits such as "One Heart", "The Two of Us Together", and "I Dream of Naomi," now hopes to win back fans that followed her career in the 1960s and'70s. Indeed, the 11 tracks on this CD fall into the good old Land of Israel pop/folk genre. Amrani continues where she left off and again sings of love. Her melodies are light and flowing and the texts are optimistic. In the 1960s Amrani performed with singer David Tal, as Hedva and David. After moving to Los Angeles, she traveled back and forth between Israel and the US so as to promote her solo career here. In 1978, her song "One Heart" tied for first place with Izhar Cohen's "Abanibi" in the pre-Eurovision contest. In the end, it was Cohen who was sent to the contest and ended up snagging first place. To ensure a positive homecoming reception from local audiences, Amrani turned to leading songwriters for material including Ehud Manor (before his death), Israel Bright, Mirit Shem-Or, and Korin Allal. Her son, Doran Danoff also pitched in. Singles off The Right Song include the title track and "Ohevet et Tel Aviv" (I Love Tel Aviv). Despite being off the scene for many years, Amrani proves she still has what it takes to be a singer. Her old fans will likely welcome her return. As for new fans throwing their arms around her, that seems to be unlikely as today's music charts tend to include rock and hip hop as opposed to 1960s revival tunes .