The Leevees

Hanukkah Rocks

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Much like Adam Sandler's attempt to fill in the gap in holiday music, the LeeVees, a duo of indie pop folks, put together a collection of mostly silly Hanukkah songs. The sound is decidedly indie pop, much in the vein of a more relaxed Presidents of the United States of America or Barenaked Ladies, but with a Jewish cultural themes and jokes. The album opens with a Beatlesque tribute to the latke, followed by a more thumping debate on latke condiments. A Christmas song (in which the band promises to march on with Chinese food) and a tribute to the timeshares of Boca and the elderly Jews who love them keep a rolling feel to the proceedings. The pace picks up a bit for a song built around the multiple spellings of Hanukkah and gelt-giving, moving almost into a Yardbirds sound for a bit. Semi-trippy, semi-psychedelic pop takes over for a bit. Eventually the groove slows back down, almost to a Jan & Dean sound. There's some very nice versatility shown off here, but the focus is really on the happy, self-deprecating humor inherent in the lyrics and an ability to laugh at the details of the culture and the world beyond by proxy. There aren't too many Hanukkah albums to begin with, and non-traditional ones tend toward the humorous (the aforementioned Sandler, the Klezmonauts). This one fits in just fine -- give it a spin at the next Hanukkah party you hear of.

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