While it definitely takes a bit more intellectual attention and patience to experience spoken word poetry set to music than sung lyrics, every, incisive, socially conscious word spoken by the multi-faceted creative expressive Fella Cederbaum on her compelling, ear popping and soul transformative second album Speech Acrobats is worth the investment of time and heart.
The German born daughter of Holocaust survivors, Cederbaum - who starting publishing poetry and fusing her passions for music and poetry in the late 2010s – comes by her hard won wisdom naturally as a lifelong observer taking copious mental notes as she’s flourished as deputy director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra, a Boston-based psychotherapist, widely exhibited painter and prolific, highly awarded independent short filmmaker and composer.
Speech Therapy, which naturally includes her thought provoking cover art, finds the wise sage waxing poetic (literally) about all manner of socio-spiritual issues, finding a genteel, slightly humorous approach to, among other things, take down cancel culture (on the musically whimsical, Latin tinged title track), rap rhapsodically about the easily offended (the bass and synth driven, hip-hop styled “The Great Offense”), question our devotion to our preferred version of the “News” and a pulsating reminder that “Violence” starts at home, “when you’re willing to burn cherished friendships on the altar of precious opinions.” Yet she’s not always biting and negative or in the mood to challenge our devotion to our worldviews.
On the delightful, easily danceable “Truth Tango,” she implores us to listen to our hearts and live our lives with joy. Besides the fact that each track has a melodic, harmonic and rhythmic personality of its own (due to Cederbaum’s lifetime of skilled musicianship), perhaps the most inspiring aspect of Cederbaum’s ventures into music-backed poetry is the way she has distilled a lifetime of thoughts into several minute sound bites worth contemplating a lifetime on.