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ALLAN SOBERMAN: Press

The first thing that strikes me about this new album from Allan Soberman is the rich vocal harmonies, masterfully interwoven throughout each of the songs and performed entirely by Soberman. The vocal arrangements have a certain Beach Boy influence, to be sure, but there's a unique combination of choral and other elements that give these songs a unique stamp. Soberman is deft at exploring adult themes, like love slowly fading or how divorce effects children. Soberman is able to show us unique perspectives from the hearts of different characters who may all be just like us sometimes. Songs like "One Day at a Time" and "Parents Like Us" illustrate difficult emotions and choices we're sometimes forced to confront as time finds us coping with our past in the present and moving forward the best we can. Soberman reaches deep into his catalogue here -- many songs date back to the early and mid 80's, and I would say fans of 80's pop music such as Dan Hill, etc., and lovers of lush choral pop vocals will find much to like about Soberman's crafty and intelligent music.
" Searching for My Voice, Allan Soberman's new CD, is one selfcontained musician's quest to make contemporary meaning of the music he learned as a boy from his father Cantor Morris Soberman by layering familiar traditional Shabbat and Holiday tunes with combined overlays
of vocal Doo Wop and M'shor'rim (traditional Jewish male chorus)
textures. Add to this the talents of a one man rock band and the urgency of one Jewishman reconciling his present with his past and you have insistent music from a passionate, singular voice."

Michael Isaacson
“ Your sound is both familiar and different at the same time and it adds a whole new dimension to my show.”

Barry Reisman, Program host, WNWR AM 1540, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Barry Reisman - WNWR AM 1540 Philadelphia
For someone searching for his voice, Allan Soberman has a wealth of harmony. With a "Beach Boys in Jerusalem" sound, this CD takes traditional Jewish prayers from Soberman's childhood (his father was a cantor) and puts them in new arrangements, with soaring harmonies. A virtual one-man band, he sang all the vocal parts himself, and played all the instruments. The vocals blend beautifully, and the music works more often than not, though the formulaic drum loops detract from the vocals on several tracks, including "Nigunisht." Pushing the Jewish tradition in a new direction, this CD will appeal to fans of RebbeSoul and world music fans in general. Even folk and pop fans may be drawn in by its accessibility.

©2003 Scott Allan Stevens
UNIQUE JUDAIC HARMONY
author: jonaco

If Brian Wilson were Jewish, he might have done a project like this. Allan Soberman, a Canadian folkie and studio singer whose father was a beloved Toronto cantor, took the traditional Jewish melodies his father taught to countless bar mitzvah kids and reinvented them in a Beach Boys/Phil Spector style. It works because Allan probably knew the service since infancy. His light, boyish voice isn't remarkable, but he overdubs vocal and guitar tracks in the classic Brian Wilson style to give these liturgical
pieces an airy, ethereal flavor. Knowledgeable Judaica music fans (like myself) will enjoy Allan's unique and loving treatment of the Shabbat service- you can tell he grew up on it and did this from the heart.
Jonaco - CD Baby (Oct 20, 2004)
Allan Soberman: “Searching for My Voice” (self-distributed)

Soberman is a Canadian musician, a cantor’s son and a rocker. Inevitably he felt compelled to unite those two strands of his musical life in a CD on which he plays all the instruments and provides all the voices. As is usual in such one-person shows, there is a certain airless
quality created by the multiple overdubs, particularly on the vocal
tracks, which definitely could have used some other voices. Soberman
straddles hard and soft rock modes fairly capably, though and the best
cuts on this set — an Adon Olam with distinct echoes of the Hollies, a
Billy Joelish “Nigunisht” — are very pleasant indeed. At its worst,thisoccasionally resembles an unlooked-for collaboration between the
Beach Boys and Grand Funk Railroad. But I’d love to hear Soberman do
an album like this with a full band and other singers; there is definitelysomething here. (Available from www.sobermanmusic.com). AAAA
VETERAN MUSICIAN RELEASES A CD AFTER A HIATUS

By JOSEPH SERGE
Arts Editor

It may have taken him a few decades, but veteran musician Allan Soberman has finally gotten around to recording a collection of his own songs.
His indie release Hold Tight is actually not his his first CD. In 2001, after the death of his father, Morris, cantor of Beth Tzedec Congregation for more than 35 years, Soberman created A Dedication, a tribute to his father that included his father’s traditional songs and prayers. Shortly after, he released Searching for My Voice, in which he combined the music his father loved — traditional Jewish music — with the popular music he loved. "I just started to record Shalom Aleichem and then went crazy with it,” Soberman, 57,
says. “I did Adon Olam on a 1 2-string guitar and just continued doing it. It’s like [Pink] Floyd meets Lubavitch, or as someone described it, Beach Boys with a yarmulke.”
Now, Soberman has released Hold Tight, a collection of 12 original retro-sounding pop-
rock songs that reminds me of the Travelling Wilburys, the Byrds and Tom Petty. Soberman admits that his songs are rooted in late ‘60s, ‘70s influences. “I love jingle-jangle bands [the Byrds] and songs with harmonies like the Beach Boys.” Some of the songs on this album have been sitting around since the early ‘80s, though they’ve all been newly recorded.
“I’d written a lot of tunes over the years that people liked, but I just never got around to doing an album,” he said. “But recently I felt this just had to get done.” In a sense, this is a comeback for Soberman, who’s been in the business since the ‘70s, but quit for a while and joined an accounting firm.
He started out, like so many, in a bar mitzvah band but began to take it more seriously when studying commerce at the University of Toronto. “This was during the big folk scene of 1973 and ‘74.” Soberman played with artists such as Grammy Award-winners Dan Hill and Ben Mink, Canadian folk band Stringband and Brent Titcomb, and toured around North America opening for the likes of Billy Crystal, Billy Joel, J.J. Cale, Steve Goodman and many others. “There’s a lot of names I could drop,” Soberman jokes. “It was a very soulful time, I was always playing.
“In the late 1970s, [at the height of the punk rock scene], a lot of acoustic acts went to Nashville.” A music publisher be knew hooked him up with some songwriters, but nothing really came of those sessions. “I was in Nashville, on and off, for six years. I got to play at the Bluebird Cafe twice [a club famous for intimate, acoustic performances.]”
Soberman had two singles released in 1981 on Toronto’s Boot Records (a rootsy label founded by Stompin’ Tom Connors), which garnered widespread Canadian airplay.
He quit the business for a while, but his father’s death inspired him to start recording again. “Doing Searching for My Voice was a nice, comfortable combination of the different states I was in. Here’s what I do and here’s what my father did.”
Soberman admits there was a lot of “bumping heads” with his father. “He didn’t like the stuff I was doing,” he says. “Even in my formative years in a bar mitzvah band, he would whisper to the guests, ‘He’s got a commerce degree.”’
But all that’s behind him now, and with the release of Hold Tight, on which Soberman plays virtually all the instruments~and harmonies, he is testing the waters to see if he’s “still got it.”
The songs have strong harmonies and are radio friendly, with strong, catchy hooks. The choruses on songs like I Want to Run, Still a Part of Me and Just Another Night tend to stay in your head for hours.
"Just Another Night" has been sent out to radio stations, and he’s hoping for some airplay on adult contemporary stations.
“I want to keep doing what I like to do and hopefully something will happen,” be says. “If it does happen, I’d like to get out and play a bit, but at this stage of the game, I’m not going out on the road for months at a time,” the father of two adult children says.
“I just want to get the songs out and have people hear them and maybe get some publishers interested.”
For more information about Soberman and his CDs, visit www.sobermanmusic.com, where you can listen to a selection of both his secular and spiritual music.
Joe Serge - Canadian Jewish News (Sep 27, 2007)
Allan Soberman - Searching for my Voice

Allan Soberman's Searching for my Voice was released in 2002 and is a collection of prayers/religious songs in a modern setting. Soberman is a singer-songwriter and musician based in Toronto, Canada, with an admirable track record.

The son of a chazan, or cantor, Allan Soberman in Searching for my Voice is seeking to reconcile two musical lives. On the one hand, that of his Jewish upbringing and the prayers and religious songs that have always been with him, and on the other, that of the pop/rock and folk music of the 1950s and 60s that also form a large part of his musical "baggage". A difficult and ambitious quest, without doubt.

To retain complete control over all aspects of this project, Allan Soberman not only arranged all the traditional melodies himself, adding also one original composition, Nigunisht, but also played all the instruments and sang all the vocals on Searching for my Voice himself.

The result? Well, I have to confess when it comes to Jewish religious music, my tastes generally tend to be rather conservative. But Allan Soberman's Searching for my Voice somehow grabbed me from the first bar or two and soon completely won me over!

The predominant influences from the "modern" world of the popular music of the 1950s and 60s is clearly that of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, as well as electro-folk, but mostly, Beach Boys. There's almost a feeling of deja-vu, especially in the often Beach Boys-like vocal harmonies, to Allan Soberman's Searching for my Voice. It's kind of The Beach Boys updated to the 21st century. Quite amazing and wonderful. And all this blends somehow perfectly naturally with the traditional Jewish elements. Indeed, the mix is an addictive one and a very powerful one too.

Never have you heard the Sabbath prayer, Shalom Aleichem, quite like this! Far from seeing the power of this prayer and the others too, diminished, it seems enhanced and given a completely new life.

Allan Soberman's quest certainly has been a successful one. Whether the search for his voice has been a successful one though, only he can answer and time will tell.

Even if "modern" religious music is not really for you, I would still suggest you keep an open mind and give this album a listen. It is deeply touching, spiritually moving and inspiring.

Allan Soberman's Searching for my Voice is inspired, a powerful fusion of the ancient and the modern. It is an essential addition to any collection of contemporary Jewish music, religious or otherwise. Not out of place in any general world music collection, either, to be sure. More please, Mr. Soberman!


© 2004 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.
- Rainlore (Dec 18, 2004)
Allan Soberman
Hold Tight
The first thing that strikes me about this new album from Allan Soberman is the rich vocal harmonies, masterfully interwoven throughout each of the songs and performed entirely by Soberman. The vocal arrangements have a certain Beach Boy influence, to be sure, but there's a unique combination of choral and other elements that give these songs a unique stamp. Soberman is deft at exploring adult themes, like love slowly fading or how divorce effects children. Soberman is able to show us unique perspectives from the hearts of different characters who may all be just like us sometimes. Songs like "One Day at a Time" and "Parents Like Us" illustrate difficult emotions and choices we're sometimes forced to confront as time finds us coping with our past in the present and moving forward the best we can. Soberman reaches deep into his catalogue here -- many songs date back to the early and mid 80's, and I would say fans of 80's pop music such as Air Supply, Dan Hill, etc., will find much to like about Soberman's crafty and intelligent music.
- Gajoob Reviews (Oct 11, 2007)
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 14:59:47 -0700
From: Michael Mikesell
Subject: Re: Lanois discography addition

Hi Kenley,
The record I have is a US pressing on the Passport Records label,
licensed from PVC. Passport brought a lot of great progressive rock
into the US in its day! There's no mention of where PVC Records is
based, however. Ben Mink isn't exactly progressive, but it's
instrumental rock and holds an appeal for progressive-minded folks, I imagine!
BEN MINK: *FOREIGN EXCHANGE* (PVC/Passport Records PVC-7919), 1980
10 tracks
Produced by Allan Soberman
Recorded at Grant Avenue Studio [not Kingsway, as mentioned before!],
Hamilton, Ontario
Engineered by Danny Lanois
Mastered at Sterling Sound, New York, by George Marino
Musicians:
Ben Mink: violin, mandolin (electric and acoustic), guitar
Allan Soberman: bass guitar
Martin Deller: drums and percussion
Cameron Hawkins: synthesizers
Mendelson Joe: electric guitar on one track
Elliott Feldman: guitar on one track
Jack Soberman: piano on one track
Ed Roth: Mini-Moog on one track
Take care,
Michael
Allan Soberman

CATEGORY: review

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The first thing that strikes me about this new album from Allan Soberman is the rich vocal harmonies, masterfully interwoven throughout each of the songs and performed entirely by Soberman. The vocal arrangements have a certain Beach Boy influence, to be sure, but there's a unique combination of choral and other elements that give these songs a unique stamp. Soberman is deft at exploring adult themes, like love slowly fading or how divorce effects children. Soberman is able to show us unique perspectives from the hearts of different characters who may all be just like us sometimes. Songs like "One Day at a Time" and "Parents Like Us" illustrate difficult emotions and choices we're sometimes forced to confront as time finds us coping with our past in the present and moving forward the best we can. Soberman reaches deep into his catalogue here -- many songs date back to the early and mid 80's, and I would say fans of 80's pop music such as Dan Hill, etc., and lovers of lush choral pop vocals will find much to like about Soberman's crafty and intelligent music. Reviewed by: Bryan Baker
Soundtracks for
Universal Soldier: The Return (1999) More at IMDbPro »
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Please note that songs listed here (and in the movie credits) cannot always be found on CD soundtracks. Please check CD track details for confirmation.

* "Never Felt So Much"
Written by Diana Williamson (as Diana M. Williamson) and Allan Soberman
Performed by Diana Williamson
Courtesy of Heavy Hitters