In photography, the golden hour is when the sunlight is at the perfect angle to capture beautiful images; in the medical world, it's the window of time where a life can still be saved after severe injuries. Both meanings could apply to The Golden Hour, Firewater's first album of original material in four years: it's a musical travelogue of the three years Tod A. spent in India, Turkey, Pakistan, and Indonesia (which he also chronicled in the blog Postcards from the Edge of the World) after his divorce and the reelection of President George W. Bush in 2004, and each song is like a vibrant, sometimes violent, snapshot along the way. A.'s travels were no vacation -- if anything, there's a sharper edge to his songwriting here than in years, and combined with the contributions of local musicians from each country, The Golden Hour is some of Firewater's most consistently potent music. The album underscores its concept by kicking off with "Borneo," a jaunty, pissed-off exit song listing all the reasons for leaving the U.S. ("You got a monkey for a president" is near the top) with theatrical flair, and from there, A. and crew -- including drummer/producer Tamir Muskat of Balkan Beat Box -- find ways to dance on their troubles with quintessentially Firewater songs like "Hey Clown," "Already Gone," and "Three Legged Dog." The band ups the ante with "This Is My Life," where the tumba, chimta, and dholki of the native musicians (many of whom normally play in the backing bands for belly dancers) add an extra spark to the song's already fiery rhythm. But for every brash moment on The Golden Hour, there is an equally vulnerable one, whether it's the cautionary tales of "Paradise" and "A Place Not So Unkind" or "Six Forty Five," an elegant ballad filled with emptiness as it wanders from sunset to sunrise. On "Weird to Be Back," Tod A. notes that "everything's the same or maybe just a little worse," but that can't be said of The Golden Hour -- it's some of Firewater's angriest, most poignant, and most accomplished music.
Performance CreditsFirewater Primary Artist
Tod A. Vocals,farfisa organ,Loops,Shaker
Avi Lebovich Trombone
Itamar Ziegler Acoustic Guitar,12-string Guitar,Acoustic Bass
Tamir Muskat Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals,Shaker
Orçun Bastürk Dumbek,Djembe,Udu
Uri Brauner Kinrot Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Electric Guitar,Electric Banjo
Lal Chand Baral Dhol
Tomer Yosef Banjo,Darbouka,Djembe,Floor Tom,Metal Percussion
Sain Muhammad Ali Vocals,Tumba
Gulsah Guray Spoken Word
Amdad Hussain Dholki
Ijaz Hussain Harmonium
Mangu Khan Hand Clapping,Dhol
Tikay Khan Vocals
Levantine Boys Choir Vocals,Hand Clapping
Ozun Usta Drums,Djembe,Ghatam
Technical CreditsTod A. Engineer,Cover Design
Tamir Muskat Producer
Danny Shatzky Engineer
Tomer Yosef Contributor
Andrew Coppin Documentation
Burok Tamer Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Golden Hour based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
After listening to, and loving, "Get Off the Cross, We Need the Wood for the Fire", I needed more Firewater. I heard the cut "Borneo" on WXPN public radio, which plays great music you won't usually hear on the airwaves anywhere else. Don't get me wrong: This is a great CD, and I'll listen to it again and again. But if you're looking for what I think is a better Firewater experience, you should own "Get off the Cross". Oh hell -treat yourself and buy both!
A Indie, Middle Eastern sounding cd. I can't wait till May 6,2008 when i'll be able to purchase the cd "The Golden Hour" by a New York based band called Firewater.