Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Miller and Lemmer

Really solid harmony by Miller! I think he was flat in 2:24 but besides that, it's a really great duet:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Shimon Craimer's Nashir Beyachad Review

Nashir Beyachad was on my buying list for quite some time, and with no further due, here’s the review.

I was among those (few?) who bought Shimon first album, and although I didn’t review it, it was a great one. Yossi Green managed to bring the best from Shimon and the album was commercial, even if it wasn’t a blockbuster. Now, Shimon comes solo, doing music in his own way.

The album tittle is very weak, since it’s the same as Yossi Rose’s.

Sameach is a conventional song with great energy, so it’s was the best choice for the first song. The arrangement is great, specially the bridge in 1:42 - soft, subtle, perfect. The 3 minutes mark is golden for a fast song like this and Shimon is at his best, with great improvisation skills and vocals. *****

Nashir Beyachad has very weak lyrics - “can’t describe the devastation” is not good, however, the chorus is cute and catchy, saving this song from havoc. The arrangement is again very good, and after 4:23 the song does get momentum, but the weak lyrics are a heavy liability. ***

Jewish Gospel music - that is the definition of Open Up. A genre very rarely explored in JM, Gospel music is kind of a taboo in JM but by using Rabbi Chait’s Pitchu Li as the structure this song doesn’t sounds all that out of place. Choir arrangements and lyrics were very well done, nearly perfect, and I appreciate the risk taking. *****

The automatic initial reaction to Mi Von Siach is “Another one?”, the same reaction I had with Gertner’s (childhood friend of Craimer) Mi Von Siach. Like Gertner’s, the tune is beautiful but the lyrics... I can’t hear Mi Vons anymore. **

Kel is probably my favorite song, as it showcases Shimon’s energy and vocals. He knows how to keep the song interesting with great interpretation and shticks. The song is rather simple, but Shimon brings it to a very high level and I think no one else would do it as well. It’s a song only he can sing. *****

Brogez is the most innovative slow song in this album and possibly in the past year. We got used to hear Yossi Green-styled slow songs in each and every album, and Berogez is a rare example of how it’s possible to explore different styles in a JM slow song without losing the Jewish taste. It’s a very demanding song vocally, and Shimon does a superb job. The choir is flawless, the kind of choir I wish we would hear more often -subtle but powerful. *****

Shalom is another innovative song - it’s pure fun. Shimon has great voice control and knows how to sing it softly when he has to and when to hit hard, like in 2:23. Kel, Berogez and Shalom are a great sequence of songs, and in my opinion, it’s where Shimon’s real vibe is. *****

Ani Maamim shares the same problem of Mi Von Siach - beaten down lyrics. Again the song is actually beautiful but without the lyrics you cannot go very far today - this will not be a blockbuster and will be easily forgotten. **

Tzur has a different problem with the lyrics - I don’t see any connection between the lyrics and the tune. That’s a big negative, and altough the arrangement is excellent, I’m afraid this song is the album filler.

Achat Shaalti, and here I am again complaining about the lyrics. Mi Von Siach, Ani Maamim and Achat Shaalti - a disastrous combination of lyrics, and a big let down for me.

Vaani is interesting because of how the lyrics fit in the song, rather in a strange but successful way. And 3:45 is not too long, so kudos to the arranger. ****

The child soloist in Hamalach is the best child solo I’ve heard in a long time - not screechy (yes, it’s possible), perfect technique and good song choice. This is the optimal way to use a child in JM and I hope other singers finally come to their senses after hearing this. And I have to mention the choir - fabulous. This is a really solid last song, and although the lyrics are not exactly original, the child soloist makes this song fly.

Already in his first album Shimon showed great vocals and technique, so I’m not surprised to hear it again here in this album. The Kel Hahodaos/Brogez/Shalom showcase what’s best in this album, while the Mi Von Siach/Ani Maamin and Achat show an unfortunate constant problem - the lyrics. Aside from that, this album has fabulous production value and a touch of freshness to it. I do fear it’s not a commercial album, that is, it’s not what people want to hear these days. But strictly in terms of music, this album is something Shimon should be proud of.

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...