Already carrying the 'diva' title on her shoulders since her appearance at last year's Eurovision Song Contest, Shiri Maimon is a true star in the eyes of many teenagers.
Although she has been appearing at song festivals since the age of 10, Maimon shot to fame when she finished second in the 2003 TV song contest, A Star is Born - Israel's version of American Idol. Yet her debut disc falls short to the hype surrounding it. While it boasts the hits "Ahava Ktana" and "Hasheket Shenishar", the self-titled album is too jumbled. It's not that the songs are bad - actually, they are well arranged, and Maimon's vocals are noteworthy. However, the album comes off like she didn't want to lose even one fan - and thus sang to everyone, incorporating r&b, pop, rock and a little bit of this and that in her lineup of 11 songs. One of the outstanding examples of this hodgepodge is the song "LeKolcha," which just doesn't fit Maimon. The lyrics, not written by the 25-year-old singer, don't read as something she would say and perhaps this is the reason she doesn't seem to personify the words. If she were to stick to one genre, and excel in it, she could gain a far better standing. Back when she sang at Eurovision, Maimon told The Jerusalem Post: "I bring the message of the song across through my stage presence. People who don't understand Hebrew can still feel the passion of the song. I sing from my heart." If Maimon truly wants to be a diva, she has to stop singing what her handlers tell her is good for sales (like was done on the TV reality contest), and sing from her heart.
Boten Matok Bekirkas
Yom Adin (A Gentle Day)
(Blue Sun/Hatav Hashmini)
Boten Matok Bekirkas is back with a second album. The rock trio of Gadi Altman (vocals, guitar, lyricist), Maor Sheetrit (bass), and Roni Hod (drums) offer 14 skillful tracks.
The guys aren't the same members who started the group in 1999, though Altman is still at the head of the band. One former member to have made good on his own is none other than Idan Raichel. Anyway, Boten Matok Bekirkas was born six years ago, toured the country successfully for two years in support of their debut "Kol Ma Shenishar", and then split up when Altman headed for the US where he started the band The Flying Baby. Both Baby and Boten have an American rock sound. And while The Flying Baby sings rock n' roll in English, Boten Matok blasts out Hebrew lyrics. Boten is known for its highly charismatic music which relies heavily on guitar. Altman has said he dislikes categorizing his music and thus also successfully throws in Indian and classical arrangements into his rock scores. The songs here are not cut for the radio and range from just over one minute to 10 minutes. Altman again delivers thought-provoking ballads.