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Review of CD by Yasmin Levy

By Julius Timmerman
Posted Sunday, January 31, 2010

Israeli singer Yasmin Levy’s fourth album again features her passionate soulful voice in a selection of Ladino songs tinged with a Flamenco sound. Accompaniments are quite lush although not always inspiring, and with her powerful voice and a large array of musicians, make for a big colourful sound.

Yasmin has extended her scope here by including Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Sung in Spanish, it’s an interesting new take on a world favourite, yet somehow doesn’t portray the essence of the song itself. There is however a lovely poignant duet with a recording of her father, who died when she was one year old, and there’s a gutsy Greek duet with Eleni Vitaly. This song is dedicated to “all the beautiful children of the Middle East who grow up in an environment with too much hatred and war and not enough love and peace.” Yasmin is involved with Children of Peace (www.childrenofpeace.org.uk) and good on her.

Otherwise Yasmin covers material she has proven to be good at – traditional Ladino songs. There’s no doubting her talented singing, but there’s a touch of paint-by-numbers in the production, so eventually one song may seem like the next. Some are infused with characteristically intense, even overly-intense passion, others seem straightforwardly literal, tending towards easy listening. Perhaps she hasn’t matched the deep spirit, adventure and spontaneity of her earlier albums, but fans will find it pleasant enough.

BEAT NO BEAT BNB102 (Fuse Music Group Australia)

 
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