Review: Shoresh “Black Box”

Shoresh “Black Box”

23 Mar, 2011 Matheson Kamin

When listening to Blackbox from Israeli singer-songwriter Shoresh, it doesn’t take long before it hits you is that this album is different, and it is the difference that makes it so enjoyable. When you get so used to American bands following a set style and pattern in creating their music, it takes someone from outside the borders to add creativity back into music.

The first thing that hits you is the singing style of Shoresh: part operatic, part rock star. This is the type of voice you don’t hear in rock music all that often. With his vocal style, you could easily compare Shoresh to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Roy Orbison.

In order to create Blackbox, Shoresh enlisted a team of very talented musicians including Ben Golan on lead guitar , Dor Koren on bass, Yair Vermot on keys, and Nave Koren on drums. These four musicians are a strong band that gives Shoresh the perfect base to sing his songs to. Overall, they creat a very laidback feel, and when they take the rare opportunity to let loose, the talent that present within the group is clear.

Opening track “Back Home” has a very simple makeup, just Shoresh on lead vocals with guitar and bass behind him. This almost-folk tune makes for a great introduction to the album.  “Ghost Town” follows, presenting the full band as they pick up the pace and add some energy to the album; however, the music is still rather laidback.

With the song “Glance,” you can tell where some of the band’s influences lay.  It is very reminiscent of The Doors, in particular “The End.”  Shoresh digs in deeper on “Big Fish” and “Soaking Out.”  “Big Fish” is sort of unusual, as it is partially a lament and partially lighthearted, while “Soaking Out” is the first track on Blackbox where the band really lets loose. After a solid drum solo from Nave Koren, the rest of the ensemble joins in and creates a sturdy rock song that any rock lover would enjoy. The song even comes complete with a stellar guitar solo from Ben Golan.

While Shoresh himself sings the majority of the vocals on Blackbox, the song “Tossing Coins” finds him singing a duet with Hava Teichman. Together, the two singers create stunning vocal moments and elevate the album with a welcome sonic surprise.  Shoresh then wraps things up with the title track, on which he handles the guitar duties and ending the album with the same laid back feel present at the start.

Blackbox from Shoresh is certainly an entertaining album with solid storytelling lyrics and music that is well arranged and well performed. While the songs “Soaking Out” and “Paved in Veins” may be misunderstood by American listeners, the rest of the album is still enjoyable, proving that music is truly international.  This is just the type of release that deserves to be added to your music collection.

Review by Matheson Kamin
Rating:  4 stars (out of 5)