Later this month, Idan Raichel will release his latest full-length album At The Edge of the Beginning. The album, his first solo recording, surprisingly bears a fitting name. That is because not only is it the first time that he has recorded an album not under the moniker of The Idan Raichel Project but being released at the beginning of a new year and being such an intriguing recording, it is a good new beginning for Raichel so to speak in the beginning of a new year. It is also a good way for those that are not so familiar with Raichel’s work to begin learning about him and his body of work. Audiences will appreciate about this record the mix of Raichel’s gentle performance on the piano in each song and the songs’ equally moving lyrical content. There are a couple of more slightly up-tempo pieces included in the record’s eleven-song body. But for the most part, it is a record that will keep listeners engaged because of its overall gentility. That is evident right off the top in the album’s instrumental opener ‘To Wait.’ This beautiful, flowing piece sounds like a piece that was taken right from some major motion picture’s soundtrack. ‘In The Wilderness,’ the album’s third offering, is another example of what makes the album’s mix of musical and lyrical content so powerful in this album. ‘Before It Ends’ is one more fitting example of what makes Idan Raichel’s new album such an interesting starting point for those that might be new to his music. It is another piece that mixes one part soft, gentle musical content and one part equally soft, moving lyrical content for a song that will touch listeners on so many levels. It is just one more example, too. There are eight other songs that could be cited in their own way as examples of what makes this record such a good new start for Idan Raichel. All things considered, At The Edge of the Beginning shows in the end to be a record that is all the way around, a good new beginning for Idan Raichel.
Idan Raichel’s new solo full-length studio recording At The Edge of the Beginning is a good new beginning for the Israeli-born singer/songwriter. That is because with its eleven total songs and thirty-one-minute run time Raichel takes listeners on a journey that will move listeners in so many ways beginning with the album’s instrumental opener ‘To Wait.’ This song sounds like a piece that could have come from the soundtrack of any major drama churned out by Hollywood’s power five studios. That likely wasn’t Raichel’s intent in composing this piece. One can almost see someone standing at the window of a quaint cottage as the gentle strains of Raichel’s piano line plays overtop. The shot gently fades from a wide shot to a close-up, and then follows the unnamed figure through the cottage as the seasons change outside of the building. It could be a man or woman waiting for the other. Or it could be a parent waiting for a grown-up child to come home from perhaps college during the holidays. In the end the figure for whom the main subject waits finally arrives, resulting in a happy, warm embrace. That is of course just this critic’s interpretation. Regardless of the musical portrait that Raichel was painting here ,the very fact that he leaves so much room for interpretation through the song’s beautiful, moving musical makeup makes fully clear why this song is such a good example of what makes this record a good new beginning for Raichel and his new audiences. It is just one example of what makes Raichel’s new album a good new beginning for both Raichel and his audiences. ‘In The Wilderness’ is another good example of what makes ATEOTB (as it wil henceforth be called) such a good new beginning all the way around.
‘To Wait’ is a solid example of what makes Idan Raichel’s new album ATEOTB a good new beginning both for himself and for his audiences. That is because through its full-on instrumental approach one wouldn’t even stop to think of it as being an international piece. Rather, it sounds more like something that was made specifically for some major motion picture from one of Hollywood’s Power Five studios. ‘In The Wilderness’ is another song that coud be cited as an example of what makes ATEOTB such a good new beginning all the way around. Yonatan Fridge sets the song’s foundation with his gentle guitar line here. Raichel’s own vocal talents set against Alon Carmelly’s work on double bass adds even more enjoyment to the song. The song’s lyrical content couples with that musical content to complete the song to make it one that will move listeners in so many ways. As Raichel sings here, “Everyone goes out/Everyone comes back/In the wilderness everyone strays/Into the desert/To this love which is ours.” One can’t help but wonder if these lines, when taken into consideration with the song’s title, are collectively a reference to the biblical story of Jesus going out into the wilderness. The combination of both elements together then is used as a point to relate to listeners, saying in essence that we have or will go/gone out into the proverbial wilderness at one point or another but we all come out okay in the end. It is a welcome, positive message. And when set against the song’s musical content, both elements come together to show clearly why ‘Into The Wilderness’ is one more welcome addition to Idan Raichel’s new album. In turn it serves to show even more why ATEOTB is such a good new beginning for both Raichel and his audiences. And even as impressive as it proves to be in the end, it is still not the only remaining example of what makes this album worth hearing. ‘Before It Ends,’ which closes out the album, is one more example of what makes ATEOTB such an interesting recording, and in turn such a solid new beginning for Raichel and his audiences.
‘To Wait’ and ‘In The Wilderness’ are both key examples in their own right of what makes Idan Raichel’s latest solo effort such a solid new beginning for Raichel and his audiences. While both songs show clearly what makes this record worth hearing, they are hardly the only examples of what makes it worth hearing. The album’s closer ‘Before It Ends’ could just as easily be cited as yet another of the album’s positives. In regards to its musical content it is yet another gentle piece that is certain to keep listeners engaged. That is thanks in large part to the Hagai Rehavia’s work on guitar and of course Raichel’s equally moving vocal delivery. He sings here of having a certain inner strength to face life’s uncertainties even despite the risks involved. “Be not afraid to fall in love/That the heart will break/Be not afraid to lose along the way,” he writes here. “To get up every morning/And to go out into the world/And to try everything before it ends/To search from whence we came/And in the end always return to the beginning/To find yet more beauty in everything/And to dance until overcome by exhaustion or love.” The rest of the song proceeds much in the same fashion in terms of its lyrical content. These deeply moving lyrics set against the song’s equally moving lyrical content to make the song a proper, fitting final statement from Idan Raichel in this new album. It makes the song one more example of what makes the album in whole a solid new beginning for Idan Raichel and his audiences. Together with the previously noted songs all three compositions make ATEOTB clearly a wonderful new start for Idan Raichel and his listeners. The same could be said for the likes of ‘Looking at the Moon,’ ‘Circles,’ ‘Little Girl of Mine,’ and ‘In Five Seconds.’ Whether for those songs or the pieces more directly noted here, it can be said of each one that it serves as its own good example of what makes Idan Raichel’s new album a solid new beginning all the way around. that being the case it can be said of ATEOTB that this new record is an early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new world music albums.
Idan Raichel shows time and again over the course of his latest full-length solo recording that his new album is a solid a welcome new beginning both for himself and for his audiences. The largely gentle musical content presented throughout the record and deeply moving and thought-provoking lyrical content of each song combine to make the album in whole a record that audiences–regardless of their familiarity with Raichel’s body of work–will agree is an early candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new world music albums. It will be available in stores and online next Friday, January 22nd. It can be downloaded direct via iTunes by way of Raichel’s official website at http://idanraichelproject.com/en/album/%D7%94%D7%99%D7%93-%D7%94%D7%97%D7%9E%D7%94/. More information on this and other titles from Idan Raichel is available online now along with Raichel’s latest news at:
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