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Galia Arad - Ooh La Baby

  by Lisa Torem

published: 9 / 12 / 2011

Galia Arad - Ooh La Baby
Label: Scarlet Records
Format: CD


Emotive concept album and tribute to a missing lover from New York-based singer-songwriter, Galia Arad

Wearing a charming, but bemused (almost desperate) expression as she clutches a vintage suitcase, now New Yorker, Galia Arad, graces the cover of concept album, 'Ooh La Baby'. Originally from the Midwest – Bloomington, Indiana to be exact – the singer conveys a sense of the weary traveler in her sweet, contagious stylings. The arrow of a long-distance lover has clearly struck her; for this is the theme that races through the album, and the moment of impact must have been extra strong. The opener, 'I Must Have You' emits more of that desperation that was shown visually - “I stay awake because of the ache that lives 3000 miles away…” and “Midnight for me/The clock says ‘five.’” Arad seems to specialize in short, punchy recollections that encourage familiar smiles. Her voice shows a sense of urgency, but hopefulness, that this mysterious lover will respond in due course. The title song, 'Ooh La La', transports us to a Parisian café; it is quietly dreamy, and 'Something Sweet', another sacrament to untainted romance, follows the same, steadfast train of thought. 'Don’t Go' is equally lovely - “I’m your bird/I’m your girl/But I can’t cross the world.” She delves more deeply into her angst/joy when rendering 'Four Leaf Lover Boy'' - "You missed your flight/You crashed your bike/Don’t let it get you down.” It becomes clear, at this point, that Arad comes from a musical family. A short, but beautiful viola piece, 'Dad’s Intro' proves it. Further along, mum gets to have her own turn on piano, while throughout, other family members bulk up the chorus. 'Will I Be Loved (By You)?' makes Arad sound, honestly, like a dead ringer for Maria Taylor. This smartly, under produced ballad is warm and wracked with emotion. 'Better Than Bonnie' is a playfully, pop, Buddy Holly-esque battle between girlfriends. 'You’re Always There' brings us back to her romantic muse and after “mum” has her say, with her piano solo, 'Dear Friend' provides a touching memorandum: “I can’t quite understand the sky tonight/Oh, this city ain’t kind.” Finally she pleads, “Write back this time.” In the more sardonic ‘Gypsy Boy’, she demystifies the object of her once idealized love with the lyrics of “I thought you were complicated/You were just playing games" and “You’re no Gypsy Boy/You’re a runaway.” The, at first, vulgar, then more palatable ‘Full of Sh* it’ is cantankerous, yet entertaining. The closing song, ‘Tonight I Found The Blues’ features a vocal drawl. Arad’s voice weaves and flails flawlessly over a 1950's style vamp and sugar-sweet harmonies. Galia Arad currently is touring the UK. Arad received the Songwriter Hall of Fame’s, “Abe Olman” award for The Great American Song and Shane MacGowan of the Pogues has covered several of her songs. This Tommy Faragher (Taylor Dane, Dusty Springfield) produced album showcases her stunning voice and excellent way with words. If I were this polished singer’s wayward lover, I would hurry home just to catch the last, promising note of her stardust lullaby.

Track Listing:-
1 I Must Have You
2 Ooh La La
3 Something Sweet
4 Don't Go
5 Four Leaf Lover Boy
6 Dad's intro
7 Will I Be Loved (by you)
8 Better Than Bonnie
9 You're Always There
10 Mom's Intro
11 Dear Friend
12 Gypsy Boy
13 Full of Sh*t
14 Tonight I Found the Blues

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