Monday, August 12, 2013

Review: Eliana Light’s “A New Light”

Some albums cry out for piece by piece analysis and criticism. Some albums are satisfying enough that this isn’t truly necessary.

Because elianalightanewlightthis is a first solo album from a (relative) newcomer part of me is tempted to be more supportive and critical. The other part of me is crying for critical analysis, if for no other reason than to demonstrate that I’m not going easy on the artist or the album in order to be encouraging.

Problem is, I’m having a difficult time finding things of which to be critical, at least publicly, in a review. (There are often nit-picky things which reviewers might to mention and/or discuss privately with an artist, and that may well be the case here.)

This is a well-thought out project from start to finish. The song-writing is good. The arranging is good. The variety of styles and the order of selections is good. The production, from an always reliable Scott Leader, is good.

Yes, it has some of the hallmarks of a first project, of a young, less-seasoned songwriter and performer. In this case, all that really is saying to me is that there’s a lot of room to grow from this solid start.

The project is a little on the “light” side (excuse the groaner) in that it only has 9 tracks. I wouldn’t mind a little more variety in style (the album pretty much has “up” tunes and “down” tunes, or, if you prefer, “rockers” and “ballads” that aren’t all that intrinsically different in style, but the songs themselves and their arrangements are different enough you won’t get tired of that too quickly.

Eliana Light’s passion for Judaism, and, in particular, Jewish education, shines through in her songs. The 23-three-year-old  Memphis, Tennessee-born, Brandeis graduate, and Education Director for the Bible Raps Project is definitely someone to keep an eye on. This fall, you can find her at the Davidson School of Jewish Education at JTS in New York in the Fall as part of their experiential learning program. Good luck, Eliana. And keep writing and singing.

Eliana Light’s website

“A New Light” is available from: