Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chaim Rubin's Picks

Blogger: Chaim Rubin
Blog: Lifeofrubin.com
Briefing: One of the pioneers of the Jewish blogosphere, Chaim runs the most respected Jewish Music blog in the web. There you will find balanced reviews, interesting interviews, news about concerts, samplers and occasionally some politics as well. No serious JM bloggers initiative could go forward without him and I'm glad he is on-board with us in this one.
Best Album: 8th Note (Yossi Green)
Best Song: Anovim (8th Note)
Best Debut Singer: Yisroel Werdyger
Best Arrangement: Mi Sheshiken (Remix)
Worst Song: Neero (Dovid Stein)

Full Disclosure (original post is to be found here):

"YK of YK’s Jewish Music Forum started an impromptu unofficial Jewish Music Awards. A bunch of us Music bloggers are working on this so that next year it’s much more official and many more categories are added. For this year, it is what it is, and it’s also important to remember it’s all in good fun.

Here are my picks based on the choices YK has in his listings. Again, there were no nominations and this was done on the fly, I would have added others, and I’ll try to reflect that in my comments here.


The choices are: Benny Amar, Shuli Rand, Yitzy Spinner, Yossi Gurvitz & Yossi Mayer.

I did not listen to Shuli Rand’s CD, and I only listened to Yossi Mayer a little bit. I heard Yossi Gurvitz’s album but didn’t find any of the things really memorable (except one.)

My choice for best new singer of 2008 of everything, not including what is on this list, is Yisroel Werdyger. My second choice, and first choice from this list is Yitzy Spinner. I really enjoyed what he did vocally and the refreshing nature of his album. He has years of experience so it’s hard to really call him a “new” singer, but he did have a debut album so that works fine for me.


The choices are: Omar Dovid (Gabay), Anovim (Yossi Green) , Mekimi (Yeedle), Yener (Lipa Schmeltzer), Birchos Avicha (Gabay), Hameshorer (Shuli Rand)

I didn’t hear Shuli Rand’s CD but YK obviously did and really liked it, I’ll have to pick it up.

Let’s start with Gabay. If there was an award for best breakout singer of the year I’d give that award to Dovid Gabay. It’s hard for artists to have a solid second cd, and almost impossible for them to top the first one. He did that in spades, Gabay 2 makes Gabay 1 seem like a distant memory.That being said, while I loved Omar Dovid, I actually liked Birchos Avicha better and I actually like Nagilah as one of the best on that CD. (Which YK puts in the worst song category, more on that later.)

There are so many great songs on Yeedles CD, Mikimi is one, but there are many amazing songs. I think the title track is the best song on that album, so again, I can’t vote for Mikimi for best song.

Lipa’s Yener is a fantastic song, maybe I would have given it runner up except for The 8th Note’s Anovim.

I guess that makes it obvious, Anovim is not a song that comes around once a year. Anovim will go down in history as a song like Tanya or Aderaba. It’s a beautiful song, and if we were doing an award for best songs of the decade I’d even give it that award. Anovim all the way, not even a choice.


Sefor (Tyberg - 8th Note), Birchos Avicha (Razel- Omar Dovid), Mi Sheshiken (Spinner - Remix), Poshiter Yid (Hershkowitz - P. Yid), Hevei Shakud (Amar - Am Echad), Return Again (Razel - Lev Echad), Lecho Dodi (S. Fird - Bayis Nemon), Yofyafisa (Tichon - Shalsheles IV), Don Don (Newmark - Omar Dovid)

This is a really hard category because there have been some great arrangements this past year. I think Sefor and Mi Sheshiken are both very freshly arranged songs, but in very different ways. sefor loses points for being based on an existing song and style (Idan Raichel.) Don Don is a good arrangement, but in the same style we are sued to in Jewish Music. Call it, the best of what we know, while Sefor is the best of what we don’t know. That’s why I am giving it to Yitzy Spinner, because his is the best as far as fresh and original goes.

Hesech Hadas (Fried - 8th Note), You and I (Spinner), Vezakeni (Yossi Mayer),
Torah Shebiksav (Lipa), Neero (Dovid Stein), Ani Oheiv (Daskal), Sholom (Levine), Naguila (Gabay), Horiyu (Yeedle)

I’m not going to go into detail here, because the whole category is kinda harsh, but if you want to hear the praise, sometimes you gotta hear the bad stuff too.

I don’t know what you and i is doing on this list, I didnt think it was the best song of the year, but I don’t think it’s the worst either. Same goes for Nagila, in fact Nagila I actually love, so I’m even more clueless. Horiyu, Hesach Hadaas and Torah Shebiksav are not bad songs, they are just very boring unoriginal songs. These are the songs we would expect ten years ago. Not now, not in the age of Anovim, Amhalel, Birchos Avicha, V’Zakeini, Yener etc …

My choice for worst song is also my choice for most disappointing of the year. Dovid’s Stein’s Neero. I’m really sorry, but in a year where we had stunning new styles, new arrangements, new collaborations and comebacks from legends like Yossi Green (Anovim.) We all expected a much better CD that what we got from Dovid Stein (and Shloime Daskal for that matter.)

The bar has been raised and people can’t get away with phoning it in, or going with the easy commercial wedding norm."

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