Saturday, March 6, 2010

Boys Choir: The Last Stand

In my Awards picks, I didn't choose any boys choirs. I noted that "my ears retired from listening to this kind of things long ago", and I wanted to write a little more on that.

Boys Choir have become one of JM's main niches, thanks to London Boys Choir and Tzil Vezemer's incredible breakthrough many decades ago. More specifically, Yigal Kalek managed to create a new craze around boys choir, creating a new niche of Jewish Music and that gave new life to the industry at the time - it was new, different and cute.

Miami Boys Choir stormed in and infused even more energy, with a new wave of high-profile concerts and CD's. MBC traveled around the world and provided us many timeless hits like Meheiro and Beseiata Dishmaya.

With time, the buzz around MBC started to fade away, specially in the last decade, and although they are still around, MBC became outdated. That's when the new Boys Choirs started mushrooming everywhere, hoping to bring new life to this niche. I guess people figured that with a more modern groove and look, the choir niche would be back in the spotlight and break new ground. They were partly successful - Boys Choirs are back in the spotlight but they don't break new ground. Let me explain.

As I mentioned before, the London Boys Choir was a shtick, a cool new idea that catched everyone's attention. And Yerachmiel Begun succeeded in making this shtick even more cool with amazing concerts and musical indulgence. But as of today the shtick is just way too overdone. You can't let children sing just for letting children sing; it was a cool shtick but without the "newness" of London Boys Choir and without the glitz of Miami Experience this niche has become soulless. You have choirs and more choirs, but all essentially doing the same thing and the same shticks.

Why can't we come up with other new shticks? For instance, why not have a really solid Men's Choir album, with top production, compositions and real music (not Acapella) supporting them? That's just one example, but there's a lot of room for innovation and I just don't understand why so many artists decide to venture in the the Boys Choirs genre creating yet another boys choir. Enough Boys Choirs!


Jewish Wedding Music said...

As a former soloist of MBC I can appreciate your post. I was a bit puzzled though. MBC is older than Tzlil V'zemer which started in 1980 and Miami in 77' so they introduced choirs before Tzlil V'zemer.

YK said...

"Appreciate" meaning that you agree?
Tks for the facts, the 70's is before my time!


JMDerech said...

We need some new mens groups... EG dominates that genre.

Great post!

YK said...

EG? Because of Menucha and Chevra?
That's not the men's choir I had in mind. I meant a large group like Kol Zimra, but in a non-acapella setting. That's something we don't have yet.