Sabra Sounds: Dor Daniel, Dudu Tassa, and Blue Pill

Although just 25 years old, Dor Daniel is obviously bubbling with talent.

Dor Daniel 88 248 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dor Daniel 88 248
(photo credit: Courtesy)
DOR DANIEL Between Dreams (Helicon) The guy behind a number of Shiri Maimon and Harel Skaat hits has finally taken center stage for himself. Meet Dor Daniel. He's the latest singer-songwriter to be described as one with a Midas touch. His debut album, Between Dreams (Bein Hahalomot), has received top reviews from the local media. Daniel's opening song, "Ratziti," has been especially favorable in critics' eyes and can be heard regularly on radio rotations. As can the song "Makom Letzidech." The album includes 11 soft rock-pop tracks. Although just 25 years old, the Hod Hasharon resident is obviously bubbling with talent. He penned lyrics and composed music to all the songs. Lyrically, the album is touching, and most of the songs are about love. "Yesh Yamim," a song about longing, is one of the most poignant songs on the album. Musically, Daniel meshes string instruments like violin and cello with more standard rock elements like electric guitar, drums and keyboards. Overall, the album makes for good listening. Dor's future looks like a bright one. DUDU TASSA Basof Mitraglim Lehakol (Hed Arzi) Dudu Tassa has been making headlines lately because of his collaboration with Jonny Greenwood, of Radiohead fame. The acclaimed Greenwood, who is married to an Israeli and who visits Israel regularly, teamed up with Tassa - who is known for his first-rate guitar plucking skills - on his first single off the album, "Eize Yom" (What a Day). Indeed, the song - which has a sort of James Blunt sound to it - has all but conquered radio stations across the country. Overall, Tassa's latest album is more mature than his past releases. It includes 11 tracks. The sound is rock 'n roll, though Tassa - who is a well-known genre jumper - also reaches out to his oriental roots. His compositions mix up sounds into a unique, Tassa-ish blend. Lyrically, he takes listeners on a journey of honesty and self-discovery. The singer-songwriter famously broke onto the music scene at age 13. He is the grandson of Daoud el-Kuwaiti, of the acclaimed el-Kuwaiti musician brothers from Baghdad who were renowned across the Arab world in the first half of the 20th century. Tassa says that his latest album is his best work. He sings with passion and all but carries away the listener with his songs. Forget previous hits like "Halayla Lo" or "Ani Ratz"; this new album offers up Tassa as you've never heard him before. And that's a good thing. BLUE PILL Me'al Hamayim (Hatav Hashmini) Blue Pill is one rock band making a lot of noise of late. These childhood friends and family members, who came together in Beit Loewenstein Hospital during singer Liron Atia's rehabilitation from a ski accident, are now touring around the country in support of their debut album. Initially, they began jamming together to keep up Atia's spirits (the accident left him with lower limb paralysis). The name of the band, Blue Pill, is taken from the color of a medication Atia reviled taking. But all of that was four years ago. The Ashkelon guys decided to go for the big time and are now serving up a new kind of rock. Think Linkin Park meets Hayehudim meets Pearl Jam meets Guns N' Roses. Sound-wise, these guys offer a full aural experience. Long guitar and drum solos are included in the songs. They also employ ethnic instruments like conga drums, tabla and tambourine. And these give a distinctive edge to the band's overall sound. Lyrically, love is in the air - but so are fears, worries and the idea of living life to the fullest. The track to win over the most radio play so far has been the rock anthem "Yasmin." This song speaks of love in the face of despair. And though these six guys prefer to think of themselves as hardcore, there's no denying their power to convey tenderness and warmth. Blue Pill's original rock is a welcome addition to the local scene.