Shiran – Glsah Sanaanea with Shiran

Album Review | Batov Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

Whenever we visit certain areas of the world that are unfamiliar to us, there’s a tendency to leave the beaten track in search of the real culture of the people, rather than just stick to the dedicated tourist areas.  When compared to her previous self titled debut, which was loaded with pop electronica and synths, Shiran’s new album Glash Sanaanea with Shiran, appears to adhere to the same notion, that we are perhaps getting closer to the almost tangible traditions of the Yemen, through the expressive power of such instruments as the oud, kawala and kanun and in particular, Shiran’s almost trance-like voice.  As in the case of much traditional music around the world, the power is in the performance and not so much in the volume of the instruments.

Recorded in Tel Aviv, the eight selections bring Shiran’s Yemen homeland closer through the sheer vibrancy and crystal clear instrumentation on such songs as “Ya Ahl San’ah” and “Qal Al Mouana”, together with the spiritual honesty of Shiran’s strong and passionate vocal, which has an immediacy to each performance throughout.  Along with the aforementioned oud, kanun and kawala, courtesy of Shauli Itzhak, Amir Alaev and Amir Shahsar respectively, the album also features Elad Levi on violin, Eyal El Wahab on cello and Ben Aylon and Roei Fridman on percussion, with further vocal contributions of Shimon Nataf, Nati Faiz, Ron Bakal, Shauli Itzhak and Shiran Avraham.     

Choice Track: Ma Al Sabab (NSV 505)