Channeling New York hip through Jerusalem's roots, vocalist and songwriter Hadara Levin Areddy's third album, King O., owes much to both Joni Mitchell's soul-jazz sensibilities and Ani DiFranco's independent grrrl attitude. Her soulful, sexy delivery is flavored with a hint of accent, but her own self-described "kick-blue rock-n'-soul" style could have only been born in America. Mostly piano-driven and often accompanied by slick contemporary R&B grooves, Areddy's songs could have been lifted from Erikah Badu's songbook if they were transcribed by Fiona Apple's right hand and Joan Armatrading's left. The sunny "Happy Bossa" is in strong contrast to the acerbic "What the Fuck," both of which exude a childlike honesty with a very mature delivery, almost as if Blossom Dearie had recorded an album of Tori Amos covers. Her song topics are emotionally soul bearing, but not in a draining way, more like a shared catharsis with her audience. Areddy has been recognized in her native Israel for some time, and hopefully King O. will bring her the attention she deserves worldwide.
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AllMusic Review by Zac Johnson