A bit of nostalgia and a magic look at love [p.24]

HANAN YOVEL The Best Of (NMC) The NMC record label continues its "Best of" series with a collection of 40 songs by Hanan Yovel, the singer of classics including "Tzarot Tovot," "Noga" and "Atem Zochrim Et Hashirim." Following "Best of" releases featuring from artists including Arik Lavie, Yehuda Poliker and Riki Gal, NMC has selected Yovel, who grew up with fellow artist Shalom Hanoch on Kibbutz Mishmarot and later became an important part of the Israeli cultural landscape. With more than 20 albums to his name, Yovel began his career with the well-known musical Nahal troupe before becoming a member of the Shlosharim Trio with Hanoch and Benny Amdursky. During the Sixties and Seventies, the singer also performed with the Shovavei Zion group and in Kef Hatikva Hatova alongside artists including Eli Magen and Shlomo Mizrahi. This double-CD comes with a 36-page musical booklet that includes lyrics to the songs and a background synopsis of each track. Yovel writes that in 1977 singer Chava Alberstein asked him to compose music to "Lekol Ish Yesh Shem" (Every Person Has a Name), a song whose lyrics were penned by the poet Zelda. "I had no idea that this modest song would become the official title of the Holocaust memorial ceremony in the Knesset," Yovel recalls. With hundreds of songs to his name, including dozens from after Yovel went solo in 1972, this collection offers only a partial collection of the singer's celebrated output. But while it's sure to leave off a few old favorites, this is an album that should still satisfy fans of classic Israeli folk rock. VARIOUS ARTISTS Menta Shiray Ahava (BASE) TV host and music editor Yaron Ilan has returned to arrange the line-up for Shiray Ahava, the fifth installment in the popular "Menta" series. A collection of love songs, the album's 18 tracks offer a pleasant reflection of what was popular in Mediterranean-tinged music in 2006. Ilan acknowledges on the CD jacket the countless love songs he had to choose from, explaining his choices as ballads that offer "private magic moments" in particular. Stalos and Oren Chen kick off the album with "Ahava Mimabat Rishon" (Love at First Sight), and are followed by Mizrahi stalwarts Pini Hadad, Sar-el, Natti Levi, Yoav Itzhaki and Yair Amit. Idan Yaniv's crossover mega-hit "Hoshev Aleha" (Thinking of Her) is likely the album's best-known track, while most listeners are also likely to recognize Moshe Peretz's enjoyable "Ha'isha Sheli" (My Woman). For fans of Mizrahi music, this CD is a must-have.