Monday, April 28, 2008

Jewish Music Review: AKA Pella

AKA Pella has their latest release: Adaptation(#3), already in stores and online.

Here is my review of this a capella album:

Firstly for the sake of simplicity I'm using a 5 star rating system:

1-nothing special

1) Eitz Chaim

I thought this was a pretty gutsy move to put these words to a straight up serious rock tune.
I think it worked pretty well but the vocals fell a bit short since they really aren't rock n' roll type vocalists. The arrangement followed the original pretty closely so perhaps not a tremendous amount of imagination was needed here but it was done well.

Rating: 3 stars

2) Halleluka

I really enjoyed the intro vocals here of Elie Ganz and Yoel Horowitz as they went for a gospel tone on this song imitating the English version so to speak. Things get a bit interesting as they go for the heavy breathing effects that black singers are known for. I found this version fairly entertaining.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

3) Mi Bon Siach

Mo and Avi Kiss sing these words to a classic folk tune and the words fit nicely into this relaxed ballad with an upbeat vibe. Although the vocals are pleasant they are not earth shattering.

Rating: 3 stars ( props for a good concept)

4) Adon Olam

Another classic recent pop tune and as the song progresses it continues to improve.

Rating: 3 stars

5) Gam Ki Ailach

This adaptation didn't take much imagination and the background vocals were a bit annoying. The vocals could have been stronger.

Rating: 1 star

6) Ma Tovu

This was one of the better adaptations of the album. The vocals are a dead on fit for this style of song. The background vocals complemented this version well.

Rating: 4 stars

7) Mi Adir

Featuring vocals of Itsi Klienfeld who sounded great on this famous pop ballad. The only issue was I think he tried a bit too hard in the beginning of the vocal for an emotional sound but overall it was quite good and entertaining. Avi Stewart and Itsi sounded great singing together and complement each other. I especially enjoyed the bridge a little after 3:05 min..

Rating: 4 stars

8) Heenay Matov

This song however pleasant was not very memorable. The background vocals where not terribly interesting and at some points were very predictable. The one redeeming quality was Mo Kiss's adaptation toward the end of the song.

Rating: 2 stars

9) Ani Maamin

Nice intro and you can see a pattern developing of choosing real classic pop tunes some of which are60's and 70's. This adaptation features the vocals Avi Stewart and Zevi Daniel who both sound quite good on this tune. I would have liked a bit more here so they could make the song their own but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

10) Y'hee Shalom

Mo Kiss was a perfect choice vocally for this song adaptation. I enjoyed the falsetto
and the background vocals weren't too bad.

Rating: 3 stars

11) Chaveirim

Certainly one of the smartest adaptations on this album. Vocally it's the closest they get to the original recording of this famous television theme song. I think many people are going to enjoy this song as one of their favorites.

Rating: 4 stars

12) When the Children Sing

It was a nice surprise to hear a power ballad sung by the Kol Noar Boys Choir and child soloist Ami Eller. I would have liked to hear more harmony from the actual choir itself but it was certainly enjoyable. AKA Pella took credits for this adaption and the lyrics but in truth I believe it has already been done and this is where the idea probably came from.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

13) Ki Malachav

This song was nice enough and the vocals fit the style well. The background were not bad but nothing earth shattering.

Rating: 2 stars

Bottom line: This is not what I would consider a real A capella album as say Bitachon and Six13. Some people have taken issue with the idea that even though there are no real instruments it sounds too close to actual instruments to be called A capella music. Regardless I found the album fun to listen to but I thought had they put in some more time this could have been a lot better.


Anonymous said...

Blogmiester...Here is your chance to make one that I would actually buy!

Jewish Blogmeister said...


Are you insinuating you did not like this album? Also are you funding mine? Thanks

Anonymous said...

I don't like it but it is not terribly expensive to create an A Capella album. Just hire the Bass Dude from the Manhattan Transfer and go to Smack Mellon Studios in DUMBO.

Anonymous said...

is song #6 an adaptation of another song? it sounds familiar...

Anonymous said...

I've never heard better mixing on a Jewish album than this. This album rocks!

YK said...

nice review.

i still prefer six13's albums, as I find them to be more original. Either akapella goes for a real music album or they will be gone in a year or two.

and by the way, the five star rating system you used this time is much better than the 10 scale. Stick to it.


shimmy messing said...

bb mack-out of your heart into my head

Anonymous said...

does anyone know which song mi von siach is? it is not sound of silence...

Mel Spodak said...

Great album.......Life of Rabin is right, they'd be awesome with music.

David Treton said...

Anonymous, It's You Raised me Up by Josh Groban.Anyone know if they released a single(Like Umacha)between 2 and Adaptation??
I just bought all 3 albums and the guy in the store mentioned something about it.

Joel Unger said...

Sick Album!.I recommend to my friends