Usually bands revisit their old albums years after release but that’s not the case for Noga Erez. Only eight months have passed since her second LP KIDS dropped earlier this year and Erez is back with a completely new sound. KIDS (Against the Machine) is a big band reworking of the previous LP. Gone is the brash electronic sound she’s known for, in its place is the stripped back brassy Against the Machine.
Any significant change in style is interesting in its own right but Against the Machine is worth a listen for more than just fans of Erez looking for something new. The difference between her bass heavy pop music and this more organic album is stark. At times it’s almost like she’s going for another market entirely with her assortment of musicians playing behind her instead of the usual “machines”. What made KIDS is still there though, the themes of tension and release, anxiety and remedy, but the big band production has given the LP an entirely new life.
What makes Against the Machine all the more intriguing is the fact it started out as fun for Erez and her creative partner Ori Rousso. She described the tracks as “a way to challenge ourselves” to show that they could create music outside of their “signature electronic productions”. If Erez’s intentions were to show that there were more dimensions to her music than her established sound then it’s safe to say she succeeded.
Beyond anything else, the most striking thing about Against the Machine is the fact that it could very well attract new fans to Noga Erez. While her signature vocals remain as versatile as ever, it’s the backing arrangement and accompaniment that shines through. Erez and Rousso are showing just how talented they are. By reworking their most recent album in a fresh new way they’re not just showing off, they’re broadening their horizons.
Those who enjoy Erez’s lyrics but prefer a more woody and brassy sound will love this. Likewise any fan of the original KIDS album will likely be blown away here. KIDS (Against the Machine) was a fun side project for Noga Erez which has turned into a showcase of skill and talent. It’s the sort of album that’s made to be witnessed live.