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The Cleveland Jewish News
June 27, 2002

Farrell's new addiction - Judaism?

By BINYAMIN BRESKY

Song Yet to Be Sung
Perry Farrell
2001 Virgin Records
www.perry-farrell.com

In concert, singer Perry Farrell introduces "Shekina" as a song about G-d. The crowd goes wild with cheers. Farrell then tells the pumped-up fans that the title represents G-d in the female form. The crowd goes wild again. It's doubtful whether anyone in the audience was a yeshiva student.

Perry Farrell (born Perry Bernstein) is best known for fronting the highly influential late 1980s alternative group Jane's Addiction and later Porno for Pyros, which contained members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He later went on to create Lollapalooza, a modern-day Woodstock and forerunner to all the other big concert festivals (OzzFest, Lilith Fair, etc.) that now seem like standard summer fare.

After Lollapalooza, the trippy Farrell dug into his Jewish roots and started performing techno and trance music under the name DJ Peretz (his Hebrew name) and doing various Jewish concerts. The result is Farrell's first solo album, "Song Yet to Be Sung."

At first listen, there doesn't seen to be anything Jewish about the album. In fact, several reviews hint at the album's "Eastern mysticism." However, lyrics about Mount Zion, King Zadek, the Twelve Tribes and Hebrew written in the liner notes, make it clear that Farrell is learning kabbala these days. The music doesn't fall into the trance category, nor is it really rock like his old material. It has throbbing, electronic beats and hypnotic rhythms, but it also has mellower guitar parts that give it a very pop, new-age feel.

Stand-out songs include the dreamy "Shekina," which starts out slow and builds up to a flurry of guitars and electronic sounds. Other tunes deal with the jubilee year in the Jewish calendar. The lyrics are hard to decipher and are as much about Farrell's own weirdness as anything else. That combination makes the album difficult to relate to, but it's still great to hear a rock icon like Farrell representing his people and homeland.



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