Soon after opening an international office in Israel, Putumayo put together a compilation of contemporary cool from around the country. The sounds are relaxed, the mood is strong, and the message made by the liner notes is clear: this is the music of a new generation, with a mingling of religions and viewpoints favoring music and peace. The album opens up with a bit of lounge music courtesy of Etti Ankri, followed immediately by some transplanted Brazilian bossa nova performed excellently by Itay Pearl. Hadas Dagul, like the duo of Rona Kenan and Gidi Gov following her, sounds as though she's coming straight from the French café scene. Reggae makes its first appearance with Mosh Ben Ari (his band, Sheva, performs another number later). An excellent bit of jam band music comes from the kibbutz-based Moshav Band as well as Zafa (though with a more Yemenite bent). A nice bit of singer/songwriter aesthetic comes courtesy of David Broza, the Eurovision-notorious Teapacks present a song, Amal Murkus adds a Palestinian voice to the proceedings, and the album ends with the particularly multi-cultural Idan Raichel Project and an Ethiopian folk song. The style throughout is cool, lounge-like, expressive while somewhat guarded. The only thing holding this multitude of styles together is the connection to the same homeland and exposure to a creativity promoting culture. The music is solid, and this is a fine first stepping stone for further explorations into contemporary Israeli music.