13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Ten years' worth of wonderful musiK,
This review is from: The Tide Has Changed (Audio CD)
If you're a long-time OHE fan, you might be a bit alarmed by the title track and the one that follows: "And So Have We". No need. If anything, this latest album seems to me almost a summary of all that's gone before. It's by way of being a tenth anniversary celebration and nearly all the styles and genres previously explored are present and correct. Middle-eastern inflections? Check. Coltrane-like maelstrom? Check. Tongue-in-cheek cheesy vaudeville and Weimar Republic cabaret? Check. Cheeky de-constructions of well-known tunes? Eastern European gypsy workouts? Check. And so on and so on (there are several more styles but I wouldn't want to bore you).
What Gilad and the band seem to have managed is to blend all these into a (nearly) coherent style that is all their own and instantly recognisable. It's passionate, funny, exciting and moving, often all at the same time. Even the one personnel change (drummer Eddie Hick replaces the great Asaf Sirkis) is pretty seamless: whether it's controlled funeral march tattoos or Elvin Jones-like polyrhythms, he handles everything with aplomb. The contributions of Gilad's other two long-time collaborators, meanwhile, are typically robust, imaginative and sympathetic.
In short, whether you're a confirmed follower of this wonderful band (and despite the leader's potentially overwhelming presence, this is definitely a band) or you've found your way here by a circuitous route and you're looking for a way in - my message to you would be: buy with confidence. Better still, get the album, then go and see them live - at the time of writing they're embarking on a big anniversary tour of the UK and Europe so chances are they'll be coming to somewhere near you. In my experience, their live performances are always even better than the recordings.