Critical Comments

Reviews of the latest Israeli albums, from the Israeli press, from RadioHazak and, most importantly, from you, RadioHazak's readers. Last updated June 10

Rami Fortis and Shlomi Bracha Ratz al Hakatzeh (Running on the Edge)

"If this were the first album of a couple of newcomers, I would probably give the duo four stars and a hearty pat on the back for bringing something fresh onto the scene," writes Emily Hauser in the Jerusalem Post (the bottom half of the Dana review).

But given the high expectations for Bracha, formerly of Mashina, and Fortis, "I was hoping for more" she writes. (June 10)

Dana International The Collection

Dana International "brings a strong voice and a sense of show to the world of dance music, creating tracks which should get anyone but the most dour music fan on their feet,"

writes Emily Hauser in the Jerusalem Post (June 7). Quoting Dana's handlers as refusing to rush out an album to take advantage of Dana's Eurovision's victory, Emily praises this greatest hits collection. (June 7)

Nurit Galron Collection
Reviewed by Gavriel Madrid

Listening to Nurit Galron's silky voice is truly pleasurable and this collection provides plenty of opportunity to listen to one of Israel's most accomplished singers (Galron has a classical album in her resume, where she plays Mozart, Beethoven and other greats simply titled Classic). My only complaint is that one of Galron's best albums is underrepresented in this collection, the fabulous "Sympatia". What's missing, in my humble opinion, are jazzy songs like "Lazot haya lo tov" or "Pashut Lamut Beemtsa haTamuz"! And it is unbelievable that the producers of the collection did not include Galron's powerful "Acharenu haMabul." But in all fairness, what the collection lacks, it compensates with new tracks especially produced for the collection that are very good, like one composed by Shlomo Artzi.

In short, here you have a good collection that, in light of Galron's talent, doesn't do much justice to her long history of excellent music. For those seeking to know Galron or who already love her, it is no substitute to the individual albums.rusalem Post called Israel's answer to Marianne Faithfull. My favorite track by far is "Antartica" and "Yemei HaPerach veAhavah", but in general, the collection is one of melodic tunes with a pop-rock edge. There are also some slow tunes, including a soulful rendition of "Ein Li Eretz Aheret". Famous Israeli composers and lyricists like Ehud Manor, Yehonatan Geffen, Y. Rotblit all contribute their talents to produce an example of Israeli pop at its best. _____________________ (May 19)

Korin Allal Collection
Reviewed by Gavriel Madrid

Korin Allal has come out with a collection of the best known songs of her 14-year career. The collection is very good and an easy way to get hooked on the talent of this Israeli singer with an unmistakably distinctive voice, which the Jerusalem Post called Israel's answer to Marianne Faithfull. My favorite track by far is "Antartica" and "Yemei HaPerach veAhavah", but in general, the collection is one of melodic tunes with a pop-rock edge. There are also some slow tunes, including a soulful rendition of "Ein Li Eretz Aheret". Famous Israeli composers and lyricists like Ehud Manor, Yehonatan Geffen, Y. Rotblit all contribute their talents to produce an example of Israeli pop at its best. _____________________ (May 19)

Gidi Gov and friends Laila Gov 2
Reviewed by Gavriel Madrid

Gidi Gov has again compiled a solid collection of Israeli favorites from his musical show in Laila Gov 2.

There is a longer list of artists,in a 3-c.d. set, including Shlomo Artzi, Aviv Geffen, Yehudit Ravitz, Mika Karni, Corinne Allal, Yehuda Poliker, Shlomo Ydov, Meir Ariel, Rita, to name a few.

Like in Laila Gov 1, Gov's band changes musical arrangements for the songs. This sometimes works (Poliker's Ma Yihiye, Yihiye or the duet of Einech Yechola with Arkadi Duchin)and sometimes doesn't (Corinne Allal's rendition of La Vie en Rose).

My only criticisms are that when Gov was singing with Mika Karni and Mazi Cohen, two women whose voices are truly like that of nightingales, he should have allowed his guests to sing most of the song, but he does not since it is his show.

Nonetheless, Laila Gov 2 has some beautiful tunes and is a wonderful showcase for Israel's varied musical talent. (May 8)

Aviv Geffen Chalolim
Reviewed by Jennifer G. Levy

The new Aviv Geffen "Chalolim" is a must hear and own! Even if you have just recently purchased his two-disk collection ("Aviv Geffen and the mistakes") released just a little over a year ago. You can never have too much Aviv Geffen in your collection! The new relase has maintained the gloomy and dark genre that is typified in Geffen's work which we have grown to identify with and love. Once again, Geffen tackles the issues of suicide, drugs, loneliness...etc. But do not fear, this is NOT going to be the "same old stuff" in a new package. This one is definitely worth checking out! (May 8)

Riki Gal Ohevet Otcha Yoter (Love You More)
Reviewed by Gavriel Madrid

Riki Gal has given us a gift with this new album. The songs are consistently good and some are simply excellent. It is a treat to her cover Matti Caspi's "Yalduti HaShneeya". And the literate title track, "Ohevet Otcha Yoter", is a standout. I listen to this c.d. all the time, and I don't tire of it. Her voice, the music, everything works. I hope Riki can keep work like this coming. (May 5)

Avtipus (Prototype) What does the weatherman know?

Reviewed by Tomer Degani
I would like to tell you about a band called "Avtipus" (prototype).

Their first and only album so far is called "What does the weatherman know?". This album is "melody-based" (a definition of the band members) and this is one of the reasons it's so good. It includes lovely songs such as: 'Leave me a place to hug you in the dream", "Distress", "Good morning world", and my personal favourite "Isha" (woman). I really recommend this album and look forward to their next one, which is expected soon. (Feb. 14)

Chava Alberstein Yonat HaAhava (The Love Dove)

"A postcard from Israel, 1996" is how Ha'aretz describes Hava Alberstein's new album. The sixteen songs -- she wrote 13 of the melodies and 6 of the lyrics -- "well express a contining moment of crisis, personal and social, that must be reckoned with though it's unclear if a full solution can be found, or if there is indeed a solution," writes Ha'aretz. And on an equally promising note, Tel Aviv says the record "sounds good and is convincing."

Alas, the reviews are only mixed, perhaps reflecting the high expecations we all have for Chava. The Love Dove is "not a complete album" laments Tel Aviv, and Ha'aretz says the album "leaves the feeling of a missed opportunity: In music, as in life, good taste can't suffice."

But what do you think? (January 24)

Eifo HaYeled Eifo HaYeled

An anonymous RadioHazak reader writers: Great album, great band. The album has no unique style, the band simply gave their best and you can feel the band in not fixed into one style.
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DieWelt DieWelt

"There are few records that take you to another place," writes Avi Ephrati in Tel Aviv, reviewing the premiere album by the group that includes Alon Avnet, Banya Reches, Dori Gold, Roi Nasi and Ido Drori. For achieving that, the album, despite its flaws, is a welcome promise, he writes, a welcome signal on the seismograph of Israeli rock.
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Eifo HaYeled Eifo HaYeled

The fourth album of Eifo HaYeled ("Where's the boy?") comes as a letdown, writes reviewer Avi Ephrati in Tel Aviv.

The promise shown by the rock group, which first burst on the scene with Sugar Time (Zman Sukar), has yet to be realized, Ephrati complains. He forgave them the "excess eclecticism" of their second album Demons (Shedim) and the weakness of their third, Travels With Myself, but enough is enough.

"There's no reason to defend them further," he writes.

Monica Sex Wounds and Kisses

"The album is great," reports Ruthy Shneider. "losing Monica is a great loss, they have potential. The best song on the album is (to me ) "Gray Hit" (maka afura ). Well, I hope you will write somthing about them, coz' they rule.

Rami Kleinstein Apples and Dates

"I fell in love with it" reports Iris Rosenberg, just back from two weeks in Israel. "It is heard on the radio non-stop and is one of the better cd's I've heard so far from an Israeli artist."

Tzvika Pik La'asot Ahava (To Make Love)

Pik's 22nd album ``carefully follows the rules of the game that turned him into a big star in the '70s," writes Gidi Avivi in Ha'aretz (June 28). For 25 years, Pik has offered his fans "an energetic mix of vulgarity and innocence, masks and truth, naivete and knowledge." This album includes a choir singing "pru u'rvi" (be fruitful and multiply) and two new versions of Pik classics "Lagur Ito" (To live with him) and "Shir Hapreicha" (The flowering song). Pik sings them "with excitement, as if they were written just yesterday," says Avivi.

Boaz Sharabi Hakoach L'hamshich (The Strength to Continue)

Sharabi's newest Greatest Hits album "explains well why in the '80s Sharabi became one the most beloved heroes of Hebrew music," writes Gidi Avivi in Ha'aretz (June 11), even though Sharabi's best and most popular songs appear on an earlier compilation.

The album's first disc includes hits from the late 80s and 90s, such as "C'shetavo" (When he comes), written for Ron Arad. The second disc includes 11 collaborations, on which Sharabi appears as composer, singer or performer. Partners for these cuts include Leah Shabbat, Arkadi Duchin, Ehud Manor, Mati Caspi, Ilanit, Rivkah Zohar and Daklon. For Avivi, the inclusion of this wide spectrum illustrates "the secret of Sharabi's power in Israel in the '90s: The musical, cultural and generational divides seem to vanish before the pleasant singing of Sharabi."

Ariel Brosh's capsule reviews (July 25):

Collection of Edna Goren
(Yes, in 1995, I am not lying! What's next? An album of Tzilla Dagan?) Full of Hebrew jazz, only two "Sasha" songs. DISAPPOINTING.

Collection of Ruhama - A nice collection with "In My Beloved Country"(Lea Goldberg, Moni Amarilio), "The Green Mountain" (Yoram Tahar-Lev, Moni Amariloi"), "Each and His Jerusalem"(Nathan Yonathan, Moni Amarillio), the beloved "Flowers of Foam", and many others. REASONABLE

Dorit Farkash ("Locked Garden" with Shuki Shuki - someone remembers) recorded an album of Naomi Shemer songs in a computerized studio, and the files were distroyed because of technical fault. Now Dorit comes with an album of Nana Mushkori's songs, including the unforgetable "Woman on the Seashore" (Naomi Shemer, Manos Hadidadkis) that the Suburbs have performed on "Music" (1989) RECOMMENDED.

Chani Livne and a Greek singer whose name I forgot - A collection of new Israeli versions to the songs of Manos Hadidadkis. Some songs are common between the two albums.RECOMMENDED.

Yardena Arazi - a new album with new stuff. To the lovers of happy music.

Rita Ahava G'dolah (A Great Love)

"Simply her best so far," writes Andrew Koerner. "After recently seeing her in concert at the Hebrew University Student Day in May 1995, I believe that her break of a few years has done nothing but helped her improve the quality of her music. Her concert also allowed her fans to see that she not only has a wonderful abilty to sing, but she also has a very firm grasp on Modern Dance."

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