David Broza Painted Postcard

Broza is a big name in Israel, but although he's released six albums on this side of the pond, he's still relatively unknown here. Since 1978, Broza has been setting Hebrew poetry to his own contemporary folk melodies, increasingly using the Spanish influences of his teenage years in Madrid. Painted Postcard is a collection drawing from both his English and Hebrew work, sort of a greatest hits package, and marks his first bilingual release. Painted Postcard is very much routed in the American folk song tradition, with strong Spanish overtones due sometimes to melody and song structure but more often to Broza's rhythmic nylon string and solo playing - a hallmark of his music throughout. His Hebrew lyrics fit surprisingly well into this context and often provide the highlights of the album. However, sometimes Broza strays dangerously close to adult contemporary territory with songs that Glenn Frey would be proud to call his own ("Time of Trains"). Thankfully, he rescues us from the soft rock doldrums with a few well-appreciated left turns, such as the cool JJ Cale-type "rock a shuffle" "When I Didn't Have a Home," the country gospel "The Art of Losing" or the flamenco documentary "Chileno Boys." Mostly backed by bass and percussion, Broza's raspy voice and ever-present subtle, yet necessary, guitar gives Painted Postcard a simplicity and warmth that can often be as exciting as a cultural exchange. (Rounder)