Sabra Sounds: A comeback that falls a bit short [p.24]

In December 2005, Pavlo Rosenberg released a solo disc of Mizrahi- and Latininfluenced ballads, Khikiti Lach (I Waited for You). It was an album meant to redeem the singer from his middle-of-the-road professional status and return him to the glory days when he played with rock band Stella Maris. The CD was a relative letdown, but the Helicon record label has nevertheless entered the ring to prove that Rosenberg is still a singer to be reckoned with. His latest release, The Collection, takes the listener back to the 1990s and the days of Stella Maris and Rosenberg's early solo albums. It's no surprise that Helicon has included the Spanish-flavored "Meldita Luna," which features Shlomi Shabat and was released three years ago. The song proved one of Rosenberg's more popular recent efforts, reflecting both the singer's birth and family background in Argentina and his upbringing in Beit She'an. In an attempt to keep himself current, Rosenberg has collaborated on The Collection with DJ Henree on a new version of "Shafut Shelach." The sound, unfortunately, doesn't fit the singer, though he fares better with the classical Latin harmonies accompanying his new versions of "Bachata Rosa" and "Carnaval." Rosenberg clearly wants to please as many music fans as possible with The Collection, but his decision to move between a mix of genres was a mistake. Next time around, Rosenberg should focus on what he's good at, realizing his original sound is what made him popular in the first place. Electro pop/rock outfit GuestHouse offers 14 cheerful, funky tracks in English on its latest album, a collaboration between 30-yearold music producer Oren Shitrit and 15 musicians and actors. In addition to producing the album, the Beersheba-born Shitrit also wrote lyrics and composed music for the songs, many of which offer an unusually pointed look at issues ranging from reality TV, the environment and the effect of the mass media on children. "Nameless Cry"in particular serves as a hard-hitting indictment of the public's missing sense of responsibility toward the environment, asking listeners, "When the ocean's gone, will you shed a tear?" One of the album's funkiest tracks is "No Gracias," a stand-out on an album full of original numbers. A cover of Jesus Jones' "Right Here Right Now" is perhaps the weakest link on the album, but the diversity of the performers - who includes Nir Geva of the band Squid and Metropolin collaborator Sharona Nestovich - offers an inimitable and enjoyable sound.