Fine Canadian Forces

Hebrew Lessons

BY Clinton HallahanPublished May 10, 2011

Jordan Fine's full-length release, Hebrew Lessons, might be a lesson of another sort: you have to make things match up. For example, over the three "acts" of this record, Fine takes us from minimal folk dirges and impeccable arrangements to some fuller experiments. There's an advance, but it's a slow build, striations of the earliest tracks readily visible near the end. The album switches somewhere, but never loses you. The beginning and end match up perfectly, which is why the vocals on this record are so strange ― they don't. Jordan Fine is a talented vocalist, but the music behind the crooning is so transcendent that the strength of one completely overshadows the other. From "Volcano" to a cover of Canadian classic "Log Driver's Waltz," his musical sense is fascinating, to the point of making his voice a distraction. If he could match them, we could replace comments of "gorgeous" with "Polaris."

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