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Laughter Through Tears

Oi Va Voi Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £8.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Frequently Bought Together

Laughter Through Tears + Poison Sweet Madeira + Oi Va Voi
Price For All Three: £21.78

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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Sep 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Outcaste
  • ASIN: B0000C83XI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,880 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Refugee 3:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Yesterday's Mistakes 4:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Od Yeshoma 4:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. A Csitari Hegyek Alatt 4:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Ladino Song 4:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. 7 Brothers 4:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. D'ror Yikra 5:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Gypsy 4:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Hora 3:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Pagamenska12:08£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Oi Va Voi's strong live reputation gained them twin nominations in the 2002 BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards, and Laughter Through Tears marks the long-awaited album debut from this London-based sextet. The opening run of tracks are commercially viable and soulfully relaxed, with all Jewish traditional elements appearing as peripheral traces. On another level, this is a courageous (or perverse) move, saving the faster, more characterful numbers for the album's second half. This has a slow-building effect, but doesn't necessarily convey the band's full live personality. KT Tunstall provides emotive vocals on "Refugee" and "Yesterday's Mistakes", backed by soothing strings and nimble basslines, akin to Nitin Sawhney or Zero 7, given subtle traces of traditional klezmer. As Judith Ne'meth sings an atmospheric Hungarian love song, Oi Va Voi enter the more active second phase, all of its dancefloor elements hand-crafted by the live line-up of drums, bass, guitar, violin, trumpet and clarinet. Earl Zinger raggas up "Gypsy" and Uzbekistan's Sevara Nazarkhan trills on "7 Brothers", which is later remixed by Hefner, appearing as a hidden track. But it's "Dror Yikra" that provides the most extreme example of cross-culturalism, with Tunisian vocalist Ben Hassan tackling a traditional Sephardic tune from the Yemen, bolstered by flamenco touches and a pin-pricking jazz trumpet solo by Lemez Lovas. --Martin Longley

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great listen 15 Nov 2003
Format:Audio CD
I am an old fan of Oi Va Voi and have heard them live on many occasions. Their new album exceeds my expectations! The sound is a mix of the familiar - the old Klezmer melodies moderned up with the funky dance beats, and the new. KT Tunstall has a fantastic voice and is a great addition to the band. This is a CD for all moods and occasions - its chilled out, impassioned, frantic and soulful. Definitely worth a listen.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended 22 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is one of the few albums I’ve heard that successfully marries ‘traditional’ forms of musical expression with contemporary dance styles without simply cashing in on the current trend for quirky ethnic sounds. There is genuine expression here, both in the themes and lyrics of the songs, and in the rich and varied soundscape that is explored. The music touches on modern dance genres rather than basing entire songs around them, ranging from the gentle breakbeat of ‘Refugee’ to the rolling house backdrop of ‘D’Ror Yikra’. Sequencing is kept to minimum, with live drumming preferred on most of the tracks – essential for the more complex rhythms used, such as the 7/8 in ‘Ladino Song’. The use of the clarinet and trumpet add extra dimensions to the sound, and the rich 4-Hero-esque string arrangements are particularly effective on tracks like ‘Od Yeshoma’.
The band demonstrate their Jewish roots with clever use of the Klezmer musical tradition – you can hear plenty of accentuated 4th notes and subtly worked harmonic minor modes, but this never clashes with the more contemporary harmony. I’m no expert on Klezmer but the singing seems to me particularly authentic, and evokes the folk tradition well. Their use of Hebrew, Hungarian and other languages is a brilliant vehicle for the soft, reflective lyrics; in some tunes the words are repeated in English, as if to emphasize their relevance in a modern context. The playing in general is rock-solid throughout, with interest continually generated through fluid basslines, clever use of percussion and and a rich harmonic spectrum. This album pushes back the frontiers of ‘crossover’ – I’d definitely recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massive Attack meets Klezmer with style 9 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Smooth production, superb instrumentals, and powerful lyrics make this a great album. Possibly it isn't as 'raw' as some established fans would want, but it is still one to listen to again and again. Eclectic styles, but the album really hangs together as a whole.
I heard this described as a real contender for the Mercury next year, and I reckon that might just be right. Well worth a listen.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic mix of musical genres 22 Mar 2005
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I saw Oi Va Voi at last year's Glastonbury, I had only heard the name before and they were the first band I saw during the weekend. They set the tone of the whole Glastonbury festival for me - I absolutely loved the performance as the whole band had such energy with a huge variety of instruments used to play pop, chillout and traditional Jewish folk. They were like nothing I'd heard before.
The CD is quite different to the live Oi Va Voi as its a much more chilled out set of music. It took a while to get into, but the songs are all very easy on the ears and great for anyone looking for what is essentially a pop record with a wide variety of folk influence.
I might add that the female singer has one of the beautiful voices I've heard!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 6 Nov 2003
Format:Audio CD
Absolutely love it, - maybe due to my roots, but I think it is very interesting, unique, and rather haunting. A mixture of Eastern European Zero 7 meets pantomime klezma.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Relevant & Interesting 22 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Relevant & interesting but by no means exceptional. Oi's live performances are electric, vibrant and moving, both for your emotions and for your feet. I found the album a touch overproduced, dampening their vivaciousness. The album has less kletzmer and less drum & bass (save for a scant smattering of tired breaks), than expected. However, I am still happy with the album, a jarring melancholic journey through modern European Judaism. It is not the upbeat relevancy I was hoping for, rather it is a soul-searching deepness to get lost in. The final track explains that this was the intention. It asserts that expression through tears is so deeply ingrained in the Jewish psyche that it cannot be ignored. Based on these assumptions, the album certainly achieves what it set out to do with great aplomb.
Nevertheless the album manages to be refreshing and entertaining, while impressing with the technical abilities of the violin, piano and oboe playing. If only I could get hold of Digital Folklore, their first album, which I have heard is more what I was expecting. 'Laughter Through The Tears' is certainly more weepy than cheerful, but it is all the more brave and stimulating for it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tip 9 Jan 2006
By Duckie
Format:Audio CD
I love Laughter Through Tears and am thrilled that the Oi Va Voi violinist, Sophie Solomon now has a solo CD. We saw her at Koko in December and her performance was amazing. I haven't stopped playing the CD and am sure that with it's great beat and lyrics, Burnt By the Sun with Richard Hawley will be a huge hit. The tracks with KT Turnstall and Ralph Fiennes are a great combination of sounds and talents.
This is a must.
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