Galia Arad has a story to tell – and in the telling, the New York based singer/ songwriter treats us to an appealing blend of folk, pop and jazz that can sooth, enliven and delight. Ooh La Baby is a transatlantic love story where Galia plays the part of a girl an ocean away from her Irish boyfriend. After following in the footsteps of her classical musician parents, she moved to a career Rock & Roll and released her first album, Sand In Your Bed, in 2008.
The melodies are uncomplicated and provide an effective backdrop to the unfolding tale. Lyrically, this album proves Galia to be a first class song writer, with lyrics every bit as imaginative and expressive as her beautiful voice; somewhat reminiscent of Ricky Lee Jones.
Galia’s confident and adept at presenting her songs in a variety of styles, whether it’s the more prevalent gentle acoustic offerings, such as the opening I Must Have You, the breathy, dreamy, jazz of Something Sweet, or even the pop-speckled liveliness of the title track – Ooh La Baby.
Among the guests on the album, Shane McGowan relishes his role as the Four Leaf Lover Boy and object of her rose-tinted affection. Galia’s parents have their own intro’s – on Piano and Viola respectively.
Simple guitar and voice are, more often than not, enough to show off Galia’s considerable talent. Will I Be Loved (By You), for example, is gentle and reflective, giving Galia an opportunity to show a plaintive side to her vocal performance. With her father’s viola introduction, this soft acoustic track is a soothing comment on the self-doubt suffered in the name of love. In contrast, the afore-mentioned Something Sweet is a sexy and confident late night jazz offering.
Throughout the songs, Galia takes us through the whole spectrum of emotions that make up a long-distance love. The anguish of separation is painted in Don’t Go. Jealousy is comically dealt with in Better Than Bonnie, and Dear Friend lays bare the hopelessness of trying to communicate over such a distance.
Ooh La Baby leaves an impression as it switches effortlessly between melancholy, comedy and even lust. Its distinctive lyrics, Galia Arad’s voice, and its story of a perpetual emotional roller-coaster come together to present an album that’s far more than background music. There’s more to enjoy in the lyrics with each successive visit; Galia’s voice can sooth, stir or delight as required, and the story running through the songs gives the whole album added depth. It’s an album full of surprises – the biggest surprise being that Galia is yet to break through to the wider audience she deserves.
Four Leaf Lover Boy
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I Must Have You
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