This appears to be an exercise in tikkun, the Jewish mission to heal the wounds of the world. All lyrics are sung in Hebrew, and the sentiment is one of peace and reconciliation. I'm less than nuts about the Zionistic and chosenness themes underlaying several of the cuts, but that's religion and fairy tales for ya. The songs are very tuneful, keeping away from New Age-ry by virtue of a folkish and lightly classical resonance, and Wilson has a soothing, beautiful, and uplifting voice well backed by a number of accomplished instrumentalists. Tracks like Shir HaMa-alot swim in extremely catchy refrains, and Paul Anderson's saxwork modernizes a good deal of the atmospheres throughout, though there's much to be said of Michael Levin's cello and it's return to classical mid-East timbres. Songs of Ascent manages to blend religion with art and modernity in a way that neither trivializes nor slights any of the three, and that's not an easy thing to do.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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