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World Music CD Reviews Middle East & North Africa

Noa

By Dave Flynn
Published June 20, 2008

Genes & Jeans
Decca

With the breakout success of Yael Naïm, those not familiar with Israeli music will likely compare Noa’s new album to the one by the new voice of Apple. But actually, the New York City-raised Noa is one of Israel’s biggest stars with a dozen albums to her name. Recorded at her home studio just north of Tel Aviv with her longtime collaborator/ producer/arranger Gil Dor, Genes & Jeans is a singer-songwriter album with elements of traditional music adding additional spice. It often sounds like it was done in a big-city studio with a cast of hired guns, but then something off-beat happens—such as the a cappella intro to “Dala Dala” sung by Noa’s grandmother—and the listener is reminded that this is a very personal creative vision. Highlights include the literate “Waltz To The Road,” the upbeat “Something Has Changed” and the elegiac “Ani Tzameh.”