Sunday, December 16, 2007

Guest Post: Joel's Review of Lapidot's Album

Joel, a loyal reader of this blog, reviews Y. Lapidot's latest album in this post. Yishai will ii"H sing in my wedding, which will take place soon, so I am obviously a fan of his music. I tend to prefer his fast songs, but he has many solid slow hits such as Pio Poscho and Bati. I didn't have a chance to hear this new album - I will try to post a review of my own in the near future. If anyone else wants to guest post, please let me know. This is a democratic blog, anyone can be on the spotlight. Here is Joel's review:

Lapidot recently released a solid debut solo effort "Vaani Hamanginah Shelachem", distributed by Gal Paz, which received very little publicity on this side of the Atlantic. Since it was not distributed by Sameach or Aderet it wasn't on any podcast or blog, and went by largely unnoticed. Thats why I'm attempting to write a review.
Most people know Yishai Lapidot from his boy band/rock group Oif Simchas, but he is also a talented composer. Two of his huge hits are Dedi's "Hu Yigal" and Avraham Fried's Modeh Ani. Another one of his credits is the creator and producer of the "Kinderlach".

The mood of the new album is a bit softer than his previous Oif Simchas efforts, but it has a few flashbacks as well. The musical styles on this album are diverse and eclectic ranging from dance techno to yeshivish freilach to power ballads to even rap.

He starts of the album with the title track "Vaani Hamanginah Shelachem", a mid tempo synth-pop song arranged by his long time collaborater Ron Tichon. Its a nice mellow uplifting start to the album. The second song Vlifamim, was the first single of the album released late this past summer. It has a standout saxaphone solo half way through the song. It is the first of a few steady power ballads on the disc. The third song "Yeled Tov Yerushalayim" is the first Oif Simchas dance style track, and perhaps the liveliest on the album. It has a middle eastern sephardi feel to it and is reminiscent to "Haalo Yeled" from his third OS release. Yeled Tov is a great dance number that was very catchy and has great hooks.

The next song is the ballad "Vesigar beyaitzer" has Dudi Kalish on the background vocals. It is a relatively typical ballad with no real memorable parts. The next track "Achshav Ze Tov" is a swing bluesy number with a great drum intro from Avi Avidani. I just didn't like this song very much. I'm just not very interested in this style.

Lapidot's next song, another arranged by Ron Tichon, is a remake of the classic "Bilvavi". It has a heavy synth beat to it. Yishai has proved before that he can take an old song and remix it well like he did to "Am Yisrael Chai" on the third OS album. This is, like before, a great cover.
Next is "Aleh Katan" which was previously released by Avraham Fried as a single. I enjoyed it with Avraham Fried and I like Yishai's version which is similar just with a different arrangement. It is a song of hope during the despair of the recent intifada that has become an anthem, and huge hit in Israel. It still resonates as the Magen David Adom theme song from a concert I was at this past summer.

The next song is my favorite on the album. "Shir Hachasidim" is exactly what it sounds like, an enthusiastic ode to every sect of chassidus or atleast every sect Lapidot can think of. I was singing along with it instantly like I was when I heard Lenny's "We got a Strong Desire". Lets just hope they don't ban it.

Next is another ballad "Boi Veshalom" which is saved by a guest appearance by the Kinderlach turning a plain chuppah number into a very good song. Next is the first real techno song album "Rack Itcha". It sounds a bit like "Na Na Na Hey hey hey goodbye" that Nancy Faust made popular back in the 1970's with the Chicago White Sox.

After the Techno club song comes a huge change of pace with "Vein bi Hakoach" a mellon collie ballad about someone who has lost all hope seemingly on his/her deathbed. I don't really understand the meaning of this song. Like Josh Baskin, I dont get it. The next song "Al Yedei Nigunim" is one of two songs on this album not composed by Lapidot, but by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg. This is the most yeshivish song on the album that can easily fit in to any wedding first dance. It is a catchy song that you would see on any shiny shoe album.

Finally the last song "Ana Hashem" is an ambitious rap number which is actually one of the more catchy songs on the album. The only problem I have with it is it's mostly in French. The chorus is really great I can see myself waving a lighter during it at a live show. The song is highlighted by Avi Singolda on guitar and Avi Avidani on the drums.

-> In conclusion I think this album was a great listen, and very entertaining. The arrangements were done by Ron Tichon, Ken Burgess, Amiran Dvir and Yishai which contributed to his signature sound. If you like Oif Simchas like me, you will love this album as well. Yishai continues to put out quality material. Most of the fare on this album is similar to what we've heard before. Yishai's solo perormance sounds like a more fine tuned evolved version of Oif Simchas. His music seems to have grown up a little without letting down his OS fans.


db said...

nancy faust? omg, you gotta be old!

Music said...

Very interesting
I'm adding in RSS reader

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