Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Idan Raichel Project Waits For Quarter To Six

Israeli keyboardist and composer Idan Raichel is a busy guy. From touring to releasing a live album, working with India Arie and even performing at the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony Idan has done more in the last four years than most artists get to do in their lives. And yet amongst all that he managed to put together his latest album Quarter To Six as part of his newly launched Idan Raichel Project.

Reflecting a quote from the famed Israeli witer/actor/singer Yossi Banai who was referring to the end of life, Quarter To Six moved Idan Raichel. As he notes, "People learn to accept this time of the day, to come to terms with their life, in peace." It's an interesting idea that quarter to six is a time that nears dark and in a sense the end of the day (or life as it may be). While this might not sound like the most uplifting inspiration for an album Raichel explores the positive aspects of reflecting on life throughout. As a result most of Quarter To Six is a mellow, introspective, near folk-like record that's quietly makes an impact. At times Quarter To Six actually sounds more like French Chanson than a reflective work from Israel and that's a tribute to Raichel's ability to create songs that are universal. It's very intimate and subtle stuff that features both male and female singers who seemingly play off of each others thoughts. Lush and beautiful while being introspective the album utilizes strings and textures and the aforementioned male/female voices to build drama and make an impact while remaining inherently beautiful. It might all sound depressing on paper but in reality it's anything but.

With a global guest list of artists and a host of sweeping sounds the album is reflectively brilliant. Quarter To Six is the sound of the middle east at peace and illustration that no matter how grim things may be there's always a positive to be found. Whether it's traditional or modern Raichel is a master of bringing it all together with intimacy, personality, drama and thoughtfulness. Quarter To Six is a reflection of that and as a result it's excellent stuff that will make you think.

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