New Reviews: October 13, 1998

Wolf Krakowski is a performer and singer/songwriter who made waves int he world of Jewish music last year with his album Transmigrations, an album that was recorded entirely in Yiddish and featured several Holocaust-themed songs by a variety of poets and songwriters. However, his latest release, Unbounded is not an album of Jewish music per se, but rather shows another side of this performer. Once again released on Krakowski's own production company Kame'a Media, Unbounded features ten original compositions crossing the boundaries of rock, country, folk, and blues. But if one had to musically summarize the album, it definitely would be with the word "roots." Krakowski's rough, somewhat wistful voice is backed up by the Lonesome Brothers, a trio consisting of Jim Armenti on guitar, Ray Mason on bass, and Bob Grant on drums, as well as other other musicians rounding out the arrangements on trumpet, sax, pedal steel, and backing vocals. Songs such as "Five-Cent Me" and "Boogie in Motion" have an element of 'fun' to them, and are quite danceable -- yet Krakowski's lyrics contain an underlying layer of honesty and emotion. Many of the songs, including the title track, have an element of prayer to them. From Yiddish folk songs to Unbounded, my mind can only wonder at what Krakowski will do next.