Isra-Alien Somewhere is Here!
Published Nov 07, 2012Somewhere is Here!, first and foremost, is a guitar album. Despite its deep ties to traditional Jewish song, its melding of rock and jazz or the musical kinship between the Toronto, ON-raised Oren Neiman and the Israeli-born Gilad Ben-Zvi, it's simply two acoustic guitars that define the music of Isra-Alien. On Somewhere is Here!, the duo's sophomore release, Isra-Alien strive to become much more inspired, both on record and principal. Providing the listener with compelling interpretations of Israeli dance ("Horah-Alien"), dedications to family members ("Valentine") and covers of homeland composers ("Tavas Hazahav"), much of Somewhere is Here! finds itself indebted to the people, places and sounds Isra-Alien adore. But it's these overly personal doctrines that, at times, manage to shackle the record. Neiman and Ben-Zvi come off as too idealistically committed, never allowing the dual-acoustic guitars to stretch out, leaving Somewhere is Here! an inspired vision stuck on repeat. (Independent)