Kochav Nolad 4
While the popular fourth season of TV singing contest Kochav Nolad (A Star is Born) may ultimately be remembered for the dramatic rise and immediate post-show fall of winner Jakko Isenberg, it will also be recalled as the season packed with real talent. While Helicon announced several weeks ago that it was backing out of its record deal with Isenberg after the aspiring rocker trashed chart-topping singer Rami Kleinstein - also a Helicon artist - in an interview with Yediot Aharonot, the record label is still making use of some of the series' magic by releasing this double album of 36 tracks recorded during the season.
While previous Kochav winners sang material that others composed for them, the final three contestants this season - Isenberg, Refael Mirila and Maya Rotman - also write some of their own material. Kochav Nolad 4's second disc opens with Isenberg's self-penned "Falling Asleep on the Sand" (Nirdam Al Hacholot), and also includes the singer's "I Remained Normal" (Nisharti Normali), Rotman's "Strange" (Muzar) and Mirila's "Let's Go North" (Nisa Latzafon).
Some of the season's most exhilarating moments are brought back on Disc One. The album opens with Isenberg, Mirila and Moran Aharoni's popular rendition of Danny Robas's "Bederech El Ha'osher" (The Path to Happiness). There's also Isenberg's memorably passionate performance of "Hayiti Be'Gan Eden" (I Was in Paradise) - the song many believe moved him ahead of Mirila as the show's frontrunner. Also included here is Rotman's superb version of Dana Berger's "Ad Hakazeh" (Till the Edge), Aharoni's "Gvarim Miktzoanim" (Professional Men), Mishel Gurialashvili's powerful "Tipat Mazal" (A Little Bit of Luck) and Zehavit Pesi and Maor Pinia's memorable "Shir Shel Yom Hulin."
The double album also offers up "Hadmaot Zolgot," the song written by Svika Pik and Mirit Shem Or for contestant Israela Asago, as well as contestants' collaborations on "Ein Matzav Le'Alimut" (There's No Time for Violence) and "Halomot Mitgashmim" (Dreams Come True) with guest rapper Kendog.
With crowds cheering in the background before and after each track, it's easy to remember how the contestants looked - and how it felt to see them - performing on stage. The energy from the show has been preserved on this album, and fans of Kochav Nolad will unquestionably take pleasure in this collection.
HENREE FEATURING NIKKA
One of the country's most successful and prolific writers and producers, Henree has hooked up with singer Nikka for this electronic dance album. The duo has built up its fan base on the local club scene, winning fans among partygoers with its up-tempo beats. While Henree already has an impressive body of work behind him (he's produced and written for the likes of Ivri Lider, Sarit Hadad and Roni), Nikka, a transsexual, has had to prove she's more than just a gimmick.
Revolution features 11 tracks, nine in English and two in Hebrew. The twosome's biggest hits so far have been "See Me Now (Finally)," "Naked in the Wind," and "Al Hamasach Sheli" (On My Screen), the theme song for prime time soap opera Telenovela Ba'am. Also making noise here is a remake of Rita's "Bgida" (Betrayal).
Henree and Nikka's music is energetic, and their sound is uber-modern. Some fans have already started pushing on the Internet for the duo to represent Israel at next year's Eurovision Song Contest, and Henree and Nikka indeed have the type of top-quality international sound that could reap big dividends at the annual pop contest.
A successful exercise in both marketing and music-making, Revolution features multimedia extras as well as songs, including the video clip to "Bgida," a mini-documentary about the making of the album, and screensaver options.