ASAF AVIDAN & THE MOJOS The Reckoning (Telmavar Records) Israeli folk-rock musician Asaf Avidan and his band have received high praise for their debut album, The Reckoning. And rightly so. The English-language album includes hits "Weak," "Hangwoman" and "Devil's Dance." A Hebrew music reviewer wrote that listeners "won't believe this CD is Israeli," while another music blog called the disc "the most significant rock album in Israeli history." Avidan's output even earned him a nomination for Best Israeli Artist at the MTV Europe Awards. The music is Sixties rock n' roll, with dollops of folk and blues. There are obvious influences by Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Janis Joplin and The Rolling Stones, as well. Avidan's voice is a blend of Joplin, Robert Plant, Bob Dylan and the Doors. The 28-year-old Jerusalemite says he chose to write lyrics in English because he felt it was the most natural thing to do. Avidan first released an EP in 2006. Soon after, the Mojos joined his musical adventure, and together they bounced between bars performing their tunes. The high quality musical arrangements and Avidan's one-of-a-kind voice was noticed by local radio station DJs, as well as listeners abroad (via his MySpace site). In no time, Avidan's music found itself on the local charts without any public relations campaign. Foreign music reviewers have also heaped praise on the rising star. Rolling Stone magazine called Avidan a "genius... You might think you're listening to Janis Joplin... but Asaf is a new messiah." Avidan's music is bubbling with energy and is fun to listen to. DAVID BROZA At Masada - The Sunrise Concert (Eighth Note) David Broza fans have probably already taken note of the recent release of a double CD of his famous Sunrise Concert. The 3 a.m. concert was filmed last summer and featured Broza along with legendary rocker Jackson Browne, Grammy winner Shawn Colvin, Arab composer Ebrahim Eid, Israeli vocalist Keren Tennenbaum and an Israeli-Palestinian school choir. PBS taped that concert and aired it last December in the US. Now, for those who missed the grand event, there's a CD (and DVD) to make up for it. The double CD brings all the excitement and energy from the concert to speakers near you. The songs here are in English, Spanish and Hebrew. "Yihiyeh Tov" (Things will be Better) is given a new take as Browne and Colvin join Broza in a Hebrew-English rendition of the signature tune. Other songs included in the lineup are favorites such as "Stolen Kiss," "Painted Postcard" and "Night in Masada." CORINNE ALLAL Pashut Kol Kach (So Simple) (Helicon) Currently heard on the radio playlists is none other than Corinne Allal, one of the country's veteran rock artists. Her latest album, So Simple, has been hailed for its humor, energy and liveliness. Allal has been called Israel's answer to Melissa Etheridge, Marianne Faithfull and Laurie Anderson. She has logged more than 30 years on the local music circuit. And on her ninth studio album, she shows newcomers that talent can continue even after age 50. While Allal did not pen the songs herself, she says the lyrics "are me." There are 12 songs on the album. Five of them are texts by poet Agi Mishol. "Korim Dvarim" and "Haparshdona" (texts by Mishol, musical composition by Allal) are two of the standout tracks on the release. "Ad Sof April" and the title track have also secured popularity. Actually, if the album is lacking anything, it is lacking a weak song. All 12 tracks are good. And while not everyone likes Allal's deep voice, on this album it fits the lyrics and music perfectly. As on previous albums, she presents her signature guitar-driven melodies with a rock edge. But Allal also shows off a softer side, allowing piano and keyboards to take center stage. Overall, Allal offers something fresh and full of life on this album.