Thursday, March 24, 2005

A Tale of Two Albums

The Jerusalem Post reviews Amit Sofer's "Purim Hits" and The Binyomin Ginzberg Trio's "Purim Sameach."

About "Purim Hits":
Hassidic pop act Amit Sofer offers Noam Productions' official auditory Purim barrage for 2005.

Presented in the manner of non-stop wedding music, this recording is a must-have for any religious store or Purim carnival looking for the obligatory background music. Each section of Purim Hits supposedly focuses on a theme of the festive holiday, but many of the schlocky niggunim are, for some reason, repeated in more than one section.
About "Purim Sameach":
Doing gigs since 1998, The Binyomin Ginzberg Trio is a New York area band with a stripped-down sound. The music would be run-of-the-mill Hassidic pop, but thanks to its sophisticated and worldly methods, standards are mixed in with less-known gems and presented in an honest, jazzy manner.

The group's newest recording, Purim Sameach, is a veritable world tour, exploring the Purim holiday's various musical themes through the prism of a mind-bogglingly eclectic mix of inspirations.

Washington, DC's well-known DJ duo Thievery Corporation is famous for making albums that lead listeners around the globe with moods, samples, instrumentations and rhythms from Brazil interspersed with those from India, France and elsewhere.

Here, Ginzberg's arrangements draw from a comparably varied well, with each track focusing on a theme such as "Mordechai Medley" or "Mishenichnas Medley" and putting it all together into an ambitious yet cohesive composition.