As many of you know I am a music junky, I go to plenty of shows and check out plenty of music whenever I can. As many you may assume this makes me very hard to please when it comes to Jewish music, in fact, although I have a bunch of MBD and Avraham Fried stuff on my Ipod I think that classic yeshiva guy Jewish music sucks. It is basically an 80s beat with a full brass orchestra and the same davening phrases over and over again. I wouldn’t even call it ethnic because its usually just stolen music from non-Jewish musicians and they soften it up to make it “kosher”.
Somehow along the way some brilliant person decided that adults would enjoy listening to cruddy music with a full choir of prepubescent boys singing along with soloists as well. I have no idea why people enjoy the high pitched screaming of children in already drowning music but that’s how it goes with Jewish music- even when you are not expecting it- the music becomes choir driven.
To my utter surprise I found some Jewish music I like. With the help of Sameach Music I have been expanding my weak collection and adding to it. Luckily I can listen to stuff on their site and I told the guy there is no way I am going to review stuff that sucks. With that said – I recently got the 8th Day live album sent to me and have been listening to it quite a bit.
I would describe it as a very Ska influenced album- which may have many of you unknowing folks asking- what the heck is ska. Ska is reggae infused punk rock in my mind, but not really. It has reggae beats mostly and utilizes mostly English- but some Yiddish and Hebrew which is cool- because I love Yiddish- can always do the klezmer thing.
I especially liked songs 1, 4, 5, 8 and 10. It is not one of those cheesy Jewish albums with remakes of good classic rock, nor does it load up the album with ballads. Ballads are great if it is of the 80’s metal variety but they just don’t belong in Jewish rock albums, the Jewish rock ballads just suck. Anyway- song #10 is bar far my favorite song on the album and it happens to be a Carlebach medley- by far the best Carelbach remake I have ever heard and I grew up in the Carlebach Shul so I am used to the real thing. It was again this ska/reggae bit but it sounds amazing and is so energetic.
Listen to tracks of 8th day live by clicking the link. 8th day live album preview.