Ki Sarita - For You Have Wrestled...
Bruce Benson's Ki Sarita was released in 1992 and is the second of four albums by the thoroughly modern cantor to be reviewed here. Ki Sarita is a collection of contemporary non-liturgical as well as liturgical songs, all set to Bruce Benson's original compositions and arranged by him, with all non-liturgical lyrics also coming from the pen of Cantor Benson, except Better World which is an adaptation of the prayer of St. Francis by Rabbi Chaim Stern (and very beautiful, too).
All instruments appear to be played by Bruce Benson himself, in addition to his appealing vocals. The over-all musical style of Ki Sarita leans heavily towards pop-rock with influences of symphonic rock and rock opera. The lyrics of the non-liturgical songs, although sometimes overly repetitive, are spiritually appealing and competent. This album is not short of spiritual conviction and sincerity both in the performance and the songs themselves. If you like Jewish religious music in a modern pop-rock idiom, then this album is definitely for you. And even if you do not, it is still worth giving a listen to Bruce Benson's Ki Sarita. I certainly find it spiritually appealing in spite of any misgivings I might have about the decidedly modern musical flavour.
Eleven tracks are listed in the sleeve notes, however, two of these are segued so the actual track number is ten. Also, the times of individual tracks given are wildly inaccurate. In the track listing below, I have used the times indicated by my CD player and indicated the two segued songs. The sleeve notes also contain the lyrics to all songs, albeit in tiny print that requires me to use a loupe to read it - with 20/20 vision you might be alright.
Sadly, I don't really see Bruce Benson's Ki Sarita appealing to the kind of audience it might most benefit and at whom I suspect it may have been aimed - young people. The pop-rock idiom is just too old-fashioned for most of them and has long been left behind by more contemporary styles such as hip hop, rap, and others and is unlikely to stir up their enthusiasm for Judaism.
© 2004 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.
1. Ki Sarita - 3:12
2. Shalom Achshav - 3:36
3. Oseh Shalom /
Massada - 6:02
4. Shalom Rav - 3:13
5. Be With Us - 4:02
6. L'cha Dodi - 5:00
7. Wedding Song - 3:22
8. Yihyu L'Ratzon - 3:00
9. Shehecheyanu - 3:30
10. Better World - 2:53
Bruce Benson - vocals, keyboards, guitars, shofar
Wheat Chalah Choir:
Noah Aronson, Danit Aronson, Jessica Benson, Jordana Lippman, Kasey Weil
All music and arrangements by Bruce Benson
All non-liturgical lyrics by Bruce Benson except Better World
which is an adaptation of the prayer of
St. Francis by Rabbi Chaim Stern
Ki Sarita can be purchased:
From Jewish Music Distribution JMD UK
From Hatikvah Music International (US)
Probably online sources
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