Omer Adam in concert.
(photo credit: ASHER1984/WIKIMEDIA)
Israeli Mizrahi singer Omer Adam is hoping to conquer Israeli radio waves this summer with... English.
The popular performer has a new single out called “Paradise,” in which he intertwines Hebrew and English lyrics.
“Life is crazy/ Yalla Yisrael/ Let’s lose control/ Take me there now,” he sings. “Welcome to Paradise/ Just look into my eyes/ I’ll take you/ Away to Paradise.” The song, which has more than a million views in the month since it was posted, has gotten mixed feedback. Indeed, Adam’s heavy accent makes some of the English hard to understand, and his pronunciation is far from perfect.
Adam, 23, is best known for his 2015 dance hit “Mahapacha shel Simcha” (A Revolution of Happiness) with Lior Narkis, which has been played on YouTube more than 26 million times and is heard at almost every Israeli wedding.
“Paradise” isn’t Adam’s first attempt at English lyrics – his popular 2013 song “Tel Aviv” features the lines “I’m your beauty/ You’re my beast/ Welcome to the Middle East.” Thankfully, however, he leaves the rest of the song – including the chorus – in Hebrew.
Fellow Mizrahi composer and lyricist Adi Leon had nothing good to say about “Paradise.”
“I didn’t like it at all, and I’m also surprised at Omer,” said Leon in a radio interview last month. “How did he make such a song? He has bad English and also even the sound of his song in English is strange in my ear.”
In a review of the single for Ma’ariv, music writer Dudi Patimer notes that the song is “partly in Hebrew and partly in bad English.” While Patimer praises it for being original, he noted that it sounds like it was “written straight for Eurovision” and is not what he would have expected from Adam.
Adam isn’t the only one hoping that foreign words will give him greater appeal this summer. Israeli pop duo Static and Ben-El’s latest hit, “Tudo Boom,” features some lyrics in Portugese, which has reportedly gained them a fan base in Brazil. The music video for “Tudo Boom,” which means “everything is good,” has more than 24 million views in just a month.
So far, “Paradise” hasn’t made much of an impact on the summer playlist, as it has yet to crack Galgalatz’s top 10 list. But Adam’s single “Besof Hakol Holef” (In the End Everything Passes), which came out in February, has been charting in fourth or fifth place for over a month now. “Tudo Boom,” meanwhile, has been in first place since the week it came out.
But the summer is still young, and “Paradise” may still come calling – with a heavy accent.
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