bob c gifted this album to me for my birthday this year. i’d never heard of it. and it just blows me away. almost impossible to accurately describe, idan raichel compiles a combination of house/ambient/lounge music, liberally soaked in israeli music, language and vibe, but peppered with some sort of a musical diaspora that includes african and european beats, languages and sounds. there. that’s my attempt to describe it.
bottom line, it’s just very, very cool sounding.
i had a very weird internal hurdle to clear as i first listened to this album, one that surprised me: bias against the musician based on his being israeli. i sure don’t think i’m anti-semitic — gosh, i hope i’m not. but in my small amount of time in israel and palestine, i really struggled with the horrible treatment of the palestinian people at the hands of israel. i know it’s complex, and i don’t pretend to think palestine is somehow innocent or faultless. hardly. it’s merely a question of power and the abuse of it. however (!), that gives me no right to not wholly embrace any particular israeli. in the end, it was pretty easy, and i was aided by idan raichel’s extremely cool music.
if you like world music (which i do), this is just so completely “other”, that’s it’s WAY worth a listen.