Sunday, May 18, 2008

CD Review


Flashes in the Darkness
CD Talia Applebaum – Jewish Press

Review by Rosally Saltsman

Original religious Jewish music has entered its second generation inspiring listeners while entertaining them; speaking to their hearts and souls through song. Who hasn’t heard of Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried, Yaakov Shwekey, Uri ben David? An impressive list! But what’s missing from it? Kol Isha. The Voice of Women. But that’s slowly changing. As Miriam went out with her tambourine leading the women in song and dance, when Moshe and the men finished singing on the banks of Yam Suf, a new voice is being heard in the desert as more women are taking the initiative and recording their own songs for Am Yisrael. While they have only half the audience (as their recordings are intended for women only), the newly emerging discs of songs by women for women about women have been eagerly anticipated and welcomed.

One such disc, called Flashes in the Darkness is by Talia Applebaum, an American-Israeli woman living in Beitar Illit on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The songs, all written and performed by Talia cover a musical range from Jazz to lyric but have a predominantly folky feel. In her rich and breathless mezzo voice, she modulates between the physical, emotional and spiritual as her topics cover dirty dishes, raising children and trying to draw closer to Hashem. My favorite number, Ki Karov Eleicha, has a jazzy beat that belies its deeply spiritual nature. Drawing inspiration from her kitchen sink to l’havdil scripture, Talia weaves a tapestry of music that paints a picture that all women can see themselves as part of.

I recommend Flashes in the Darkness as a harmonic way of making the transition from darkness to light as we leave the lugubrious overtones of the Omer and prepare for the festival of spiritual luminescence that celebrates the giving of the Torah.

The disc is available for sampling and ordering at:

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