Sabra sounds

Veteran rock artist Shlomo Artzi provides likable songs on his new album, Shfuyim, but fails to secure a home run.

shlomo artzi disk 88 298 (photo credit: )
shlomo artzi disk 88 298
(photo credit: )
THE MIND CHURCH (Knessiat Hasechel) Autobiography (Barby Records) What happens when you take 26 songs that have already proven their worth and change them? In this case, rock band Knessiat Hasechel (The Mind Church) added another feather to its cap. Their new album Autobiography portrays the amazing collaboration between a top rock group and a talented music producer. In this case the music producer is Ami Rice of Algiers fame. In what could have been a disastrous move should Rice have proven to be just a so-so producer, he chose to reinvent the band's songs by infusing its rock sound with classical instrumentation. The result only cements Rice's skills as he competently meshes the viola, flutes, cello, clarinet and tambourine with acoustic and electric guitars, percussion, and bass. Music fans are offered nearly two hours of pure entertainment, without a dull moment throughout. Since its inception, The Mind Church has been about introducing new sounds to the local music field. Their music combines textured wording, catchy choruses and memorable guitar playing. Hits that have been reworked on this album include "Rutz Yeled" (Run Boy), "Parparim" (Butterflies), "Tnu Li Lishtot" (Let me Drink), and "Yadayim Lemala" (Hands Up) among others. The moody rockers from Sderot show a lighter side on this album, often even sounding happy. Not many bands can boast songs from years back and new renditions as equally worthy of praise. On Autobiography, The Mind Church proves their excellent musicianship once again. SHLOMO ARTZI Shfuyim (Sane) (Hed Arzi) Veteran rock artist Shlomo Artzi provides likable songs on his new album, Shfuyim, but fails to secure a home run. The opening song "Titaru Lachem" is pleasant, but it is the seventh track "Hachaim" (The Life) that better grabs the listener. The singer-songwriter is undeniably one of the country's leading musicians and has always been known for providing heartfelt lyrics. Once again Artzi delivers textually. The 15 tracks here skillfully delve into love, life, and all that's in between. Insofar as the music, however, Artzi holds back on most of the songs and stays with what's good as opposed to breaking new ground. Perhaps one of Artzi's greatest challenges when releasing a new album is to repeat the successes he set on previous albums like Drachim (Ways), Hatzot (Midnight), and Hom Yuli August (July August Heat). On Shfuyim Artzi sounds like himself. That is, there's nothing really new sound wise. On this new album, Artzi turned to a whole slew of music producers among them Daniel Salomon, Gil Feldman, Louie Lahav, and Avi Singolda. While the arrangements and production are sound, original sparks are lacking. Singles off the album so far include "Iceland" and "Hamiti". Fans of Artzi's style will appreciate this new anthology, but those looking for something more will be only partially satisfied.