Rick Moranis - My Mother's Brisket & Other Love Songs [Review]

Coming eight years after his country-flavored album The Agoraphobic CowboyRick Moranis' 2013 effort is still based in musical comedy, but it goes in a completely different direction, because there's not much call for songs like "Live Blogging the Himel Family Bris" or "Kiss My Mezuzah" down at the local honky tonk. For all the schlemiels who haven't figured it out, My Mother's Brisket & Other Love Songsis the joyful and loving sound of Moranis returning to his Jewish American roots, with klezmer, jazz, folk, and nostalgic pop music supporting witty songs about food, tradition, family, and food. The title track is a rhumba where he goes on "another chivas bender" over the family dish he's ever so homesick over, while "I'm Old Enough to Be You Zaide" is the passionate Jewish tango version of Lolita or the Police's "Don't Stand So Close to Me" as our hero nervously removes his sweat-stained yarmulke and protests to the young woman "You're digital and I'm still Beta." With wonderfully alive klezmer music behind him plus the opening lines "We ran into the Feldmans, man did they look great/Mindy graduated with a 3.8" the key track "Pu-Pu-Pu" is entirely in the style of the album's main influence, '60s great novelty song artist Allan Sherman, whose style is reflected in Moranis' heavily-accented delivery, lyrics that mix the modern and the traditional, and even the album's nostalgia-filled artwork. Moranis retired from making movies in 1997, and while many would like to see him bust ghosts and shrink kids again, smart, strange projects like these are as rich and rewarding as his work for SCTV. My Mother's Brisket is delicious, delightful, and quite a tribute. Mazel tov!


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