Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Few Words on the 8th Note

I just checked out 8th note's official website and it's possible to get a feel of what this project is all about. I will not write a review of it but I will however point out some of my impressions.

Firstly, this album has been cooking for a while and that's one of the reasons why Anovim, originally featured in Hasc years ago, was not released until now - YG knew it was a hit song and he wanted to record it himself. YG's previous album Shades of Green wasn't a hit so I guess he veered to different direction in this album - new songs, guest singers and modern arrangements. Good thinking.

The highlights in the 8th note are the creative lyrics and the exquisite arrangements. Layehudim, the first song, is a great example and YG plays with Chazal's words mixing in quotes from another passage ("Ein Lonu Oiro Elo Torah", which is probably a quoted from the Medrash on the Tehillim - "L'David Oiri V'ishi"). Very few mainstream composers venture to modify the Chazal's original quotes and that's one of the reasons why most of them are running out of original lyrics. All the songs in this album have unique lyrics that generally fit in the tunes, which is remarkable and quite unusual these days.

Since I fail to get the connection between YG and Chaim Israel, I was surprised to see they have a song together. As far as I know, Chaim Israel never sang a YG song in his albums and sings for a different public. But I'm happy to hear they are working together as Chaim David has quickly become one of the hottest singers today.

There are other surprises - someone called Moti sings with YG in Al Todin. Who's Moti? And Mo Kiss, who made the arrangements in Pruzansky's Pruzbul, also sings a song. I never heard Mo Kiss singing a solo, another surprise. And AKAPella, yes AKAPella, was zoche to sing the album's title song 8th Note. Why AKAPella?

Which leads to my question - how come YG didn't manage to invite Shwekey or Kol Achai (they have a quite strong fan base and YG has composed for them back in the day) or Pruzanski or Spinner(!) to sing in the 8th Note. I think they would lift the songs to a higher level, as they are more experienced than Moti and Mo Kiss.

And of course, Avremel Fried sings a Moshiach song. I know Fried has a special thing for songs of Golus and Moshiach but that's becoming a cliché - every single time he sings a song we already know what's coming... A change is good for life and even better for singers!

All in all, I'm really excited to hear this album in its entirety, and I hope to post a review shortly after the album is out for sale here in Israel.

UPDATE: The album will be out in 10-15 days, just in time for Purim (very fitting, as the first song is Layehudim). What's pretty cool is that there is a 40 page digital booklet featuring a note from YG to every guest singer and what was the inspiration for each and every song. I think this will be the first mainstream JM album with a digital booklet (Matisyahu had one in Youth..) Speaking of Matisyahu, YG wrote the reggae song for him but Moti and Shalom had to sub Matis as he is in contract with Sony. It's a pitty, it would be wild to see Matisyahu singing in a mainstream JM album. Maybe Sony would then hire YG? :)

23 comments:

Insider said...

Joel is NOT going to like this album. Sorry. The reason shwekey or kol achai weren't used was that this isn't an all star album. It's meant to be an album of Yossi Green songs, it's a Yossi Green album, but with guests on it. First comes the songs, then the music, then the singers. Which is why Joel won't like it. He would like to see a yossi green composed all star album. This isn't that.

Those were the singers that fit the songs he composed. There isn't one song on here that would have been a fit for Shwekey or Pruzansky. The song has to fit the singer.

If you hear the AKApella track it has a boy band type feel to the music. AKA pella goes for that style and they must have impressed Yossi Green to be thought of for this song.

Anavim was composed IN MBD'S home for MBD. You can't get any more tailer made then that.

But these are all just words until you hear the full album.

YK said...

Hey Joel

Gideon Levine's album is the same concept and he always manages to compose decent songs for cream of the crop singers. I think YG can do the same, I agree with you.

You might be right, maybe there are no songs that would fit Shwekey Kol Achai and Pruz, it remais to be seen as I can't judge from the short samplers.

In the boy band song 8th note, I would choose Lev Tahor instead, as Shwebel is specially talented in English songs (he did an amazing job in the last Journeys) and his song Sefor doesn't seem to be "tailor made" for him.

YK

Insider said...

Sefor is the best song on the album. It was actually hand picked by Shwebel. It's perfect for them. I wish they did a whole album like that. It's done in the style of Idan Raichel. LT does good English songs, but this song is very backstreet boys, which is davka what AKA shoots for.

YK said...

Ok.

You know who's this Moti?

YK

Gideon said...

In my opinion, Mo Kiss is more talented than almost any of these singers.

He has experience. He was a star soloist in Tzlil V'zemer.

I've heard him perform at weddings in NY. He's really good.

YK said...

Don't get me wrong, he is good. I just think Shwekey, Pruz and Spinner are above his league since they have come up with good solo albums. I wish Mo Kiss would do the same, so I can hear more his style.

YK

Joel said...

I think Green is the Puff Daddy of Jewish music. He produces great material, but he can't rap (in Green's case sing). He forces his way onto the songs because they are his songs, and he can. If you would listen to Gertner's album, Ohad's albums and Craimer's album you will hear that there are a few songs where it is almost a duet between them and Green.
Green should stick to what he knows best composing and producing. He can't sing! Some composers have good voices and can sing like Abie, Lapidot, Goldwag and Spinner among others. Green is not among them.
YK Congratulations on your recent wedding. Who sang? Do you have any musical highlights?

YK said...

Hey Joel

You have this rage about Green's voice for quite some time... I agree with you in part, but I think it's fair that he should have some fun time singing HIS music, even if it's not great. But he does have an outstanding sense of harmony btw.

About my wedding, it did have some musical highlights. Your man Lapidot sang along with Amiran Dvir and oh boy, the house was shacking. Lapidot is a star and he just "has it", managing to sing the right songs at the right time for the crowd.

Another special mention goes to the fabulous Chazan Motzen. I said once Chazzonus for me was just Helfgot. Now it's Helfgot and Motzen. You will see in the vids why, will post them as soon as I hear back from the videoman.

YK

YK said...

UPDATE: The album will be out in 10-15 days, just in time for Purim (very fitting, as the first song is Layehudim). What's pretty cool is that there is a 40 page digital booklet featuring a note from YG to every guest singer and what was the inspiration for each and every song. I think this will be the first mainstream JM album with a digital booklet (Matisyahu had one in Youth..) Speaking of Matisyahu, YG wrote the reggae song for him but Moti and Shalom had to sub Matis as he is in contract with Sony. It's a pitty, it would be wild to see Matisyahu singing in a mainstream JM album. Maybe Sony would then hire YG? :)

dovid said...

isn't motzen from canada?

Imanuel said...

No doubt the samples are very impressive. About the choice of the singers, may I remind you that Green has an habit to put in light new talents, the ones who aren't well known but deserve it ?
Back in 94, almost no one had heard of Dedi. It was a great revealation.
So when some ask who is Mo Kiss, I feel that is on purpose.
OK, Kol Achai also deserve more recognition outside Israel. It's a pity they weren't enrolled in the 8th note.

YK said...

dovid,

Motzen was a chazzan in Canada for a couple years, I think in the same Shul were Shlomo Simcha (Sufrin) davens. He moved to Bal Harbor, Miami I think

Imanuel,

You have a good point. But I don't feel Mo Kiss is the next Dedi..

YK

Anonymous said...

hey check out yentatainment- leah forster on mostly music- it is awesommmme

Anonymous said...

This album seems to serve as a testament to who the real all-stars are. Whether you love him or hate him , Yossi Green is the most accomplished song writer in the Jewish music scene , and the fact is that he could have chosen anyone. Yet he didn't go with Shekey, or Shloime Dachs or Pruzansky. Perhaps the reason why he went with people like Mo Kiss is because their talent level is beyond the others. Shwekey may have a bigger fan base right now then some of the artists featured on this album, but that dose not make him as talented. Perhaps you should listen to all the artists that you have never heard of before with an open musical mind and then decide who's out of who's league.

Donie said...

YK-

I'm going to assume that you have never heard Mo Kiss sing. If you had, you would have no problem with him being on the album.

YK said...

Donie and Anon,

I cannot judge Mo Kiss' singing skill by a 20 seconds preview. He might be great, how can I know? Only after I listen the album. But my point is that Mo Kiss is not in the music scene yet, except as a talented arranger (see my Pruzbul review). So as of now, Shwekey is surely in a different league, but that's now. Later is later.

YK

Anonymous said...

Alright here's the deal.
YK is right in the sense that it's too early to judge a perfomance based on a 20 sec clip.
However, like the previous poster mentioned, new talent should be viewed with a very open mind. @nd of of Green and Tyberg both know what they're doing.If they picked guys like Mo Kiss, It's for good reason.
Now YK, as a conoissuer of Jewish Music, I should mention to you that Kiss is not a new name on the scene,he actually was a star soloist for Tzil V'zemer , and he's hot on the Jewish Music Band Scene.
He's done a ton work on some of the major hit albums as of late(Lipa. A.K.A Pella 1 and 2 and Pruz) and it's about time he gets recognized.

Anonymous said...

Who's Moti Shemshesh?

Anonymous said...

Schwekey is the biggest star in Jewish Music.
He shoulda been on. And what about Gabay?
Or the Yeshiva Boys Choir?
Shalsheless Junior too.Even Shalsheles for that matter.
Plus he coulda picked Pruz...he wrote tunes for him.

I heard Gad Elbaz was supposed to be on.......

YK said...

Anon 1,

I like very much the way you put it and I concede to your point (I know I sound like Obama now). Lets wait and hear Mo Kiss' singing, then we can come back and discuss more.

Anon 2,

I never heard of Moti Pesehemesh and Shalom Zohar before, but apparently they sing Reggea. Maybe they are the guys from To Shma? No idea.

Anon 3,

It would be very cool to hear Elbaz with Green indeed, but Shalsheles Junior? YG was never into the boys choir thing (except for Tzalek's London BC).

YK

Anonymous said...

moti pishemesh has been doing it for years, way before matisyahu, he is chabad and lives in Florida.
He is talented at what he does, and could have an album of his own.

YK said...

I'm telling, the Chabad rule in JM. Another one for my list! see my post on it

YK said...

I'm telling you, the Chabadniks rule in JM. Another one for my list! see my post on it