Yoav / Charmed & Strange / Album review

By on Sunday, 23rd March 2008 at 8:52 pm
 

Yoav - Charmed and StrangeWith so many singer/songwriters making their way around the UK music market, when I was sent details of another one, my first reaction was that he was going to be another James Blunt / Damien Rice carbon copy. However, in the interests of fairness I had a listen, and was pleasantly surprised by Yoav, an Israeli-born, South Africa raised nomad currently living in London.

His debut album, “Charmed and Strange” is something quite outside the normal realms of singer-songwriters, with the vast majority of the music coming just from him and his bass heavy, danceable thuds his guitar generates.

“Club Thing” sees Yoav taking a wander around a dark and sweaty underground club, his guitar strumming the background to his story: “he watches from the corner / he waits for her to stumble / he knows that he’s the king / the king of the cardboard jungle“.

Quickly followed up by “Live”, Yoav provides the fast-paced soundtrack to leopards and lions going in for the kill, a hip-hop version of wild Saharan battles.

YoavPersonal highlight of the album, “Beautiful Lie” is gentle, yet somehow haunting as Yoav provides wisdom beyond his years, slowly building the song up, bringing it back down for a brilliant crescendo that is probably one of the best tracks this year by a solo artist. Unfortunately however “Beautiful Lie” is followed by the weakest track of the album, “Angel and the Animal” which whilst is an alright track, it would be more at home on a Disney soundtrack rather than one of a respectable rising star.

Closing out with the marvellous “Where is My Mind”, Yoav takes the Pixies classic and turns it into his own, something that more famous artists have failed spectacularly (yes, Placebo, I’m looking at you). It’s haunting, a brilliant album-closer and shows off just all of Yoav’s skills: great delivery, film like sound tracking and haunting tunes.

Whilst it undoubtedly won’t be for everyone, I personally love it, and it spent most of the past term in my car as I motored up and down to uni each and every day. Give him a go, you never know, you might like it.

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