Idan Raichel Project, The - album review (2 stars)

The Idan Raichel Project

The Idan Raichel Project (Cumbancha)


The brainchild of Israeli keyboardist and producer Idan Raichel, his Project sees a group of over 70 albums contribute to this one cross-genre record. Already a huge pop success in his home country, Raichel seems to almost make a point of involving cross-cultural musicians and singers, with this album including Arab musicians alongside Yemenites, South Africans, Surinamese and Ethiopian Jews who have settled in Israel.

For all its boundary-breaking appeal, however, the record is soft pop in the extreme, with the exotic flavour of the Arabic chants and songs being somewhat dragged down by a glossy and flaccid production job. Possibly Raichel is Israel’s own James Blunt.

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