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Lead Balloon

Rosi Golan

October 24, 2011 Comments: 0
Lead Balloon – Rosi Golan

This is the second album from Rosi Golan, who is Israeli-born but based in the US. Golan co-writes all twelve songs on the album, using no less than nine different co-writers. It might be fair to speculate from this that she's experimenting with different styles, but that would be a mistake as there's a consistency here that suggests Golan has a clear vision of what she's aiming for.
Tony Berg's production is always sympathetic, and even though he uses plenty of additional instrumentation to fill out the songs, he wisely ensures Golan's beautiful voice is always centre-stage. The opener “Paper Tiger” gives a clear foretaste of what to expect. Golan's voice is high up in the mix, accompanied by a full band on a song in which she cheerfully gives the brush-off to a former lover. Breakup songs seem to be a particular forte, as shown by “Say It Anyway”, a nice reflective ballad tinged with regret.
She also tackles the joy of falling in love, on songs such as “Everything Is Brilliant”, in which she duets with Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol. “Seeing Ghosts” displays a pleasing delicacy of touch, and there's a welcome guest appearance from David Rawlings, who contributes acoustic guitar on “Flicker”.
Golan's music is easy on the ear and radio-friendly, so it comes as no surprise that her songs have been featured in several TV shows, notably “One Tree Hill” and “Private Practice”, and also in films and adverts.
The whole album is beautifully sung and played, mostly with an upbeat bright feel. While there are touches of folk and Americana, primarily the album comes across as superior pop. Overall, however, you can't escape the nagging doubt about whether there's enough substance beneath the surface sheen to keep you coming back for repeated listenings. Golan is currently touring the UK and Europe.

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