street disk 88298.
(photo credit: )
Habzak Or Holef
Sha'anan Streett sounds nothing like himself on his debut solo album. The front man of the super hip hop group Hadag Nachash, Streett is best known for his political and often satirical rapping. On Habzak Or Holef, he shows off more melancholic, contemplative, serious qualities. The lyrics are personal and touching.
The performer says he wrote a slew of lyrics about personal issues before realizing they weren't suitable for Hadag Nachash. He then turned to composer/producer Avi Leibovich, who he asked to compose accompanying music and then pass the songs off to other singers. Instead, Leibovich - who composed music to 12 of the 13 tracks on this album - suggested that Streett release the songs himself in the form of a solo album.
Streett took Leibovich's advice, but turned to a handful of other singers to share the mic with him, among them Tamar Eisenman, Chava Alberstein and Dana Adini.
Streett covers a number of issues on the album, singing in "Bekoach Hadimyon" about a person who feels lost in the world and in "Share" about the need for peace in the region.
Musically, the listener is treated to something jazzier than Streett's traditional hip hop rhythms, with Leibovich masterfully mixing classical, rock and pop elements into the sound.
But it's Street's talent that comes into focus on Habzak Or Holef, an effort that proves his skills as a singer-songwriter aren't limited to a single genre.
(Eighth Note/Shaker Maker)
It's heartbreaking that so many mediocre musicians make it big on the Israeli music scene while far more talented, less conventional acts often get overlooked. Haifa band Colombia, which released its eponymous debut a couple months back, proves itself a member of the latter group with a great album that hasn't received the attention it deserves.
Ignored by radio stations, the band has nevertheless gained a faithful following. And deservedly so: the group produces catchy tunes in the British rock/pop vein. The album's third track, "Hey Ata," wouldn't sound out of place on an Oasis album, while "Baa Hazak," another wonderful track, also takes listeners back to the height of Britpop a decade ago.
The group's downfall is in its lyrics, which come across as artificial despite the sincerity and emotion of the songs' subjects. The words feel as though they were thrown into the mix as an afterthought, and one can only hope Colombia will seek some help with its lyrics on the band's next effort.
Shortcomings aside, however, Colombia is still a band to be reckoned with, proving that Britpop is alive and well, and that it can be performed in Hebrew.