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Erran Baron Cohen Presents: Songs In The Key Of Hanukkah

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"Songs In The Key Of Hanukkah" was created and produced by composer and multi-instrumentalist Erran Baron Cohen, brother of Ali G and Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen. Baron Cohen scored the original music for his brother s film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (in which he rewrote the Kazakhstani national anthem), as well as his hit TV series, Da Ali G Show, where he collaborated with the likes of Chrissie Hynde, Travis , and Supergrass among others. The record is indeed a collection of songs that brings the ancient music of Hanukkah kicking and screaming straight into the 21st Century. Recorded in London, Berlin and Tel Aviv, the songs combine klezmer, reggae, electronica, hip hop, tango, pop and other genres, all fluently woven into something uniquely Baron Cohen s. The album contains five reinterpretations of classic favorites as well as five original tunes created exclusively for this project, all sung in English, Hebrew or Ladino (Judaeo-Spanish). They are performed by some world-class Jewish singers, including Israeli superstar Idan Raichel, world-music diva Yasmin Levy and New York City-based rapper Y-Love (who actually rhymes in Yiddish!) to name but a few. Songs In the Key Of Hanukkah is set to be the premiere musical celebration of one of the world s most beloved holidays for years to come.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Hanukkah oh Hanukkah (featuring Y-Love & Jules Brookes)
  2. Dreidel (featuring Jules Brookes)
  3. Ocho Kandalikas (featuring Yasmin Levy)
  4. Spin It Up (featuring Jules Brookes)
  5. Look To The Light (featuring Jules Brookes)
  6. Rock Of Ages (featuring Jules Brookes)
  7. Relics of Love and Light (featuring Idan Raichel & Avivit Caspi)
  8. A la Luz de la Vela (In the Light of the Candle) (featuring Yasmin Levy)
  9. My Hanukkah (Keep the Fire Alive) (featuring Y-Love & Dana Kerstein)
  10. Ma'oz Tzur (featuring Dana Kerstein)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 19, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Watertower Music
  • ASIN: B001FZ0AAY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,026 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is definately not the music I grew up hearing or heard in Temple. We love this CD and want to hear it played again and again. The music if fun, rhythmic, creative, danceable, melodic, beautiful, soulful, funky, .... Some of the lyrics are familiar - Dreidle, Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah, Ma'ot Tzur but put to music that touches my soul. We especially love the Ladino influence. I first heard about it on NPR radio. I came home and immediately ordered it on Amazon. I don't want Hanukkah to be over (so I think I'll keep listening) and would buy another CD of Hebrew/English/Spanish/Yiddish soulful music by Cohen any day.
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My daughter needed a CD of holiday music to counter the Christmas music being played in her dance classes. This CD fit the bill, with its contemporary tunes and easy to listen to lyrics. We can listen to the CD in the car and enjoy the music for the music's sake. All but Track 5 (Keep the Fire Alive or something like that) are palatable and I find myself humming the Ladino tunes (e.g., Ocho Kandelikas) a lot. I am usually loathe to buy a religious music CD, but this one is really good.
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No joke - this album rocks!
With reggae and hip-hop influences thrown in with classical holiday fare - this album really puts you in the mood for the 8 Crazy Nights of Hanukkah. The whole album is a joyous celebration of a rich culture and would be a cool gift for anyone on your list.
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Format: Audio CD
In my humble opinion, this is among the finest CDs of the year. Congratulations to Cohen for putting together such a nice cd, which makes me and so many others proud. Besides the great songs, I was introduced to the lovely female singer, singing in Ladino, more of who's cds I will now get. Hooray for Erran Baron Cohen for such good work. MAZEL TOV!!!!!!!
Herschel Ben Yehuda - Seattle
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Format: Audio CD
On first listen, I didn't think much of any of the music except for the Yiddish rap, which made me laugh. However, after multiple listenings, it's grown on me - a lot. I love this CD and find myself dancing around the house to it. Great mix of familiar and new tunes, all with radically different arrangements than what I was used to. Kudos, Mr. Baron Cohen! Nice job.
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Format: Audio CD
I recently purchased this album and am very pleased. It's not often that great Chanukah records are released. Erran Baron Cohen successfully shows off his musicianship with original songs and brings new life to classic Chanukah favorites. This will definitely be playing at my Chanukah party!!
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Format: Audio CD
This compilation of hard-to-find Hanukkah music is insanely talented, fun and original. A MUST for every Jewish household and probably every non-Jewish one, also. Imagine songs about the Holy Land in zydeco,rap and other toe-tapping genres. Great!
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Format: Audio CD
This is the season when every city is the US has a radio station which plays "all Christmas Music, All The Time". Well, they call it "holiday music" but most of it is about Christmas. After all, until Adam Sandler recorded "The Hanukkah Song", was there any Jewish holiday music appropriate for radio stations to play? (Answer is "no").
Yet all the best known Christmas songs. ("White Christmas", "Rudolph", etc.) were written by Jews.

This CD is an attempt to bring more Jewish holiday music to the younger generation who frequent dance clubs. After all Matisyahu blended Jewish traditional music with Reggae and scored a hit.

Produced by Erran Baron Cohen - best known for scoring his bother Sasha's movie "Borat", this album blends some traditional Jewish songs, played to a "different beat", with new songs. Most of it works, but not all. The second track "Dreidel", comes on a bit too strong and changes the mood after the opening "Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah" - again, not the way those who grew up in the 20th Century ever heard it.

If George Harrison lost his lawsuit with the Chiffons over borrowing the melody for "My Sweet Lord" from "He's So Fine", then Baron Cohen is on shaky ground with "Look To The Light". You'll sing along easily but will clearly be caught up because you know "My Sweet Lord". It's a fun sing along though. The most passionate track, in my opinion, is "In The Light Of The Candle". There are guest hip-hop artists on a few of the tracks and all will work in a Dance Club situation.

I'm not sure you'll hear these tracks on the radio this season; radio is too "programmed" for that. (Though the "programmed beats on the tracks on this CD" are programming of a different kind.

This is a disc you can give your 16-25 year old Jewish son or Grandson and show them, there's more to Jewish holiday music than Adam Sandler.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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