Thursday, April 19, 2007

A.K.A.Pella 2

A.K.A.Pella returns to the music scene with this new blend of (recent) old songs. In his first album, they managed to come up with an interesting selection of songs and I loved “ScrabDror Fair”, because of the good choice of words for this non-Jewish song. The first album wasn’t excellent but it was interesting to hear the computerized beats and the good vocals. The public’s expectation for their second album was a more original work, less focused in the computers and more centered in the quality of the songs and harmonies.

When I looked at the list of songs in the album cover, I was surprised to see Lecha from Chevra, a few Shalsheles songs and Im Lovon from Lev Tahor – which are quite recent songs also sung by young groups. Lecha was never a great hit specifically because the song was too focused in the electronic beats and excessive harmonies. AKAPella did the exact same thing, in an Acapella setting. That alone crushed my expectations here, since the first song should be new and refreshing.

Regarding the Shalsheles songs I think no one is better at singing them than Shalsheles themselves. They created a new style of music that was very successful because of the light harmonies and the simple musical arrangements. A.K.A.Pella did the opposite – “heavy” harmonies and obstructive arrangements. Additionally, Kol Halayla released an album featuring a marvelous Acapella version of Ekrah (hear sample here), far superior than this one, last year. A.K.A.Pella apparently copied the idea.

The lack of originality is highlighted in the Album cover, copied from American Idol (I refer you to the copyright infringement discussion Aryeh had in his blog).

Computerized beats, old songs, promotional videos, catchy album jackets cannot be the “supporting beams” of a musical project. Good Music = originality and A.K.A.Pella should focus more on that next time. I think they are talented – a special mention to that guy who sang Yesimcha in the first album (I think it’s Avi Stewart), who is a great vocalist – but they have to figure out what are their core competencies i.e. what makes them special and different from everyone else in regards to music. After all, isn’t this what they keep on saying to the candidates on American Idol?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Ohad and Dedi

In my review of Ohad's latest album, I mentioned he sounded a bit like Dedi.
Well, I should perhaps add that they sing similar songs as well. In Ohad's first album, in the last song, Ohad sings a little of an old Dedi tune - Omar Rabbi Elozor. The composer of the two songs is YG, which explains why that part of the song is identical to Dedi's classic song. Here excerpts of the two songs here and see yourself what I mean!!

Benny Friedman’s Kulanu Nelech Album Review

Benny Friedman’s latest album, Kulanu, is out on Spotify, and as a paying subscriber I enjoyed listening to this album quite a bit, to the e...