Saturday, December 13, 2008

JoeFlix's Picks

Blogger: JoeFlix
Blog: JoeFlix Daily
Briefing: Realizing that the JM blogosphere was missing a good Jewish photoblog, Joe started blogging just last march, with striking success. He also wrote several solid JM reviews and quickly became a respected blogger.

Best Album: Omar Dovid (Gabay)
Best Song: "Tie between Yener (Lipa) and Birchos Avicha (Gabay)"
Best Debut Singer: Yitzy Spinner
Best Arrangement: Don Don (Gabay)
Worst Song: "They are all winners"

Full Disclosure:

"Hello all. My name is Joe of the Joeflix photo blog.

First a quick disclaimer thingy: we are trying to select a winner, so in a competiton a lot of the best against the best, some will lose and look bad, even though by themselves they can be great! (For example Yeedle Vs Yeedle/Lipa/Yossi Green and Gabay) This is the olympics, and nobody would blame Phelps had he lost.

Now, before going to the 2008 nominees, let us not forget that 2006/7 was a great season for jewish music: MBD Efsher Letaken, Lipa's Hallel, Shwekey MaMaMa, Fried Bein Kach, Lapidot- Mangina Shelachem, Gertner (!), and Yehuda Green.

Now to 2008 - and I'll stick with the nominess in my vote

Best album:

Lev echad falls out for obviusoly falling very far behind Yeedle 4. The neatness might have worked against itself here, going from neat, to plain.

8th note: some in the blogesphere are bananas over the album, but let me just paraphrase what I emailed to somone last friday

[Loved (!!) Leyhudim, Kanei, and Sfor. Anovim is okay. Beshivtecho, Hesech, Siman tov, Lama, Naasse, 8th note (both), Veoz, and Yossel are average songs at best

As I said, the excitement was on level 15 (out of 10) and the album as a whole was 'only' a 10 in terms of sound and arrangements -n other words, perfect) but from a Yossi Green album you expect great SONGS - he's a composer, duh

Now again, most albums (even contemporary) have only a few hits but from Yossi we expected better. Lipa last album (PY) - for example- has 10 (out of 13) very good songs, and the big YG (and I don't mean that with sarcasm) has 4 or 5 out of 13. Gimme a break! Also, Lipa explored different styles of composition on Keneinehora so he's not that far behind in terms of being king of Jewish song! ]

For the next album, Yossi would be advised to take a few songs from Elimeliech Blumestien, Lipa and Pinky Webber

Now, Lipa vs Gabay: Both have a whole bunch of amazing songs (while Lipa wins there) and exquisite arrangements, so its almost a tie but I think it goes to Gabay, Becuase -

While I don't know too much about music, somehow I found myself enjoying Gabay's album too much, its was just so delicious and digestibale. It took me a while to realize that besides the songs, the most amazing part about it is the sound and the mix and the engineering. (And this is EXACTLY what's wrong with Lipa's album)

Then I found out how many extra miles the Newmark/ Ian Freitor team went to make this sound good, including some, ahem, unprecedented things. They did a lot of expensive, extra-credit stuff and they were not cheap

And I should add that the album is one of the top sellers on JM to date, so their work also paid off nicely - so good for you guys!

And BTW, I think that Gabay is the best voice in JM nowadays. Anybody disagrees?

[PS: Yitzy Spinner's Y&i wouldve taken 3rd place, and Sruly Werdyger came out late in 5768, but should be a nominee next year]

Best Song:

Again, 6 amazing songs but were forced to choose

Anovim falls out for emptiness, Kanei from the same album, beats it many times over.

Mekimi, again, sounds very empty after a few listens.

Omar Dovid is a great song, but the fast "tov li" part isn't all that great and feels loose on top of the emotinal first part.

The winner is a tie between Yener and Birchos Ovicho, although Yener is more original both as a song and a concept.

[Didn't buy Shuli Rands album - yet]

Best New Singer:

Didn't listen to Rand or Gurvitz

Amar is not up there with Mayer and Spinner, and the fact that he got so many votes is, ahem, funny. Very funny.

Mayer and Spinner?

Mayer has a very good album, which I still enjoy listening to. He sings very well and I can't wait for his next project, maybe with even better sound (Great great choirs on the album BTW, Moishy Kraus!)

Spinner is in a different League alltogether.

Spinner got himself a good part of the next wave of JM. Besides his amazing sweet/steely singing, the guy is a serious music powerhouse. He writes his own music, arranges beautifully with chords that make youir ears come off and plays a couple of instruments, and he just knows the whole mumbo-jumbo of music like nobody else. He's a breath of fresh air to the scene.

(He's also working on a couple of upcoming projects as a composer and arranger and choir arranger. Stay tuned)

The only drawback to his so-original style is that he doesn't have one "normal" song that you can hum while walking down a hallway. Its just great listening music. As Yitzy told me, and I quote " Let's face it, Vanilla is great - but how many people choose vanilla when they have other options??"

I was totally surprised that his album sold as well as it did and I'm happy about it.

Best arranged song:

Now Hevey Shakud its NOT

(although I have to give Shmuli Rosenberg credit for Very Good rythm and drums on the whole album)

[BTW I hear that amar's fans organized a mass-voting thing here on YK. Otherwise how do you explain the siproportion in the votes here, both in best singer and best arranged song?? This is very cheap, and frankly I hate it]

While all these songs are very very good (I nominated them, duh) Gabay's DonDon stands out - maybe cause it 'sounds' the best, but anyway.

Yisroel Lamm delivered an arrangement that makes you woner where he was the last 20 years. He should be very proud of this great, diverse arrangement (where did you learn to put violin (3.30) on a rock song? Wow!) , as well as Blumestein of the song - its so rich, and what original lyrics!!

Gabay sounds soooo good on this song and Moshe Roth should get a medal for the choirs

PS - some very big name in JM told me he favors Gabay's Zaroh (arranged by Rigler) over DonDon. I disagree strongly. Very strongly

The runner-up is a tie between YG's Sefor and Sruly Werdygers Lecho Dodi

Worst song:

They're all winners. They are all songs that didn't fit on an album. One might argue that its relative, that Yossi Mayer wouldve killed to get Gabay's fillers - but it doesn't matter.

The worst offender here is Yossi Green on 8th note - which everyone I spoke to points out a different set of 3 or 4 songs they think are just stupid, followed closely by Eli Gerstner who made avery bad album for somone who does not deserve to be shamed here, which is basically one big messed up package.

That's all folks

2009 should be a good year for JM with about 20 projects in the works, and I'm looking ofrward to review the top few

YK - thank you again for hosting this. I wish you all the best"


YK said...

hey joe

nice picks. You couldn't decide the best song and in the worst one..!

i would like to think that no one is cheating here - it's hard to cheat since blogger remembers the ip of the voters. So you gotta be a professional.. but no poll is fool proof.

and the polls are still open for 2 weeks... let's wait and see.


Anonymous said...

joe...f you think that there is something wrong with amar's album winning than you should relaize that you along with many other blogger's are not in touch with what the public likes...soryy

Joel said...

YK, can you post my picks?

YK said...

hey joel!

great idea - it will be great to post the picks of a non-blogger.
send me at and I will post it sometime next week. I'm heading for a long trip and will not be able to post sooner.


joel said...

I was a guest blogger on your blog with my lapidot review. So the non-blogger title is not totally true.