“ Artist: Shiri Maimon / Genre: R&B and Soul / Release Date: 2008 „
I'm not usually someone who goes out of my way to find new music artists, as I don't listen to a great variety of music, I tend to stick to what I know which is usually chart music! But a few years ago, there was a Eurovision song which really got stuck in my head, so much so I went online and downloaded it onto my iPod, and I still listen to it now, both in English and Hebrew! That song was Hasheket Shenish'ar, the Israel entry for 2005, and was sung by Shiri Maimon.
Standing On My Own is the first English speaking album release by Shiri Maimon, having previously been very succesful in her native Israel with her first 2 album releases. Shiri was a runner up on the Israel version of Pop Idol, Kokhav Nolad, so clearly was a great singer. So when I heard about this album, I set about trying to get a copy. It isn't sold on Amazon or any sites in fact, so in the end I had to pay for the download of each song seperately but luckily it was only about 60 pence per song! Anyway, I've since listened the album quite a few times, and been very impressed with it!
Compared to many British album releases, this album is quite short at only 8 tracks long. I'm not sure why that is, as her Israeli albums have had 12 and 13 tracks on them, but still, they are a very good 8 tracks. What I do feel is missing though is the English worded version of Hasheket Shenish'ar, called The Silence That Remains which was her Eurovision entry, and certainly my favourite song by Shiri. It would have been a great addition onto the end of the album, and I've actually added it onto the end on my iPod lol, so I don't miss out on that song!
Okay, back to the album. It opens up with a pretty upbeat number called Tender Love. It straight away launches into a disco type beat, but didn't really capture my attention that well as it didn't stand out as a strong opening song. Shiri's voice sounds quite synthesised so doesn't showcase its power and strength as well as some of the other songs on the album. It doesn't really seem to go anywhere either, with a couple of verses, and then a repetitive chorus which is quite bland. At minutes 54 seconds, its quite long and a little boring!
The album picks up by song 2 though, entitled Hard to Forget. This one has a much more R n B feel about it with a powerful baseline and a catchy rhythm courtesty of strong drums. Shiri's voice is much more natural here, quite sultry through the slower verses and really picking up at the verses, with a strong chorus with its catchy repetitive lyrics. Sadly this song only last 2 minutes 44 seconds, I wish it was longer as it's one of the best ones of the album. Song 3 is Crossroads, and is the first ballad of the album. It starts slowly with some pleasant strings and the first verse is Shiri's gentle voice over a guitar, very soft and lovely to listen to. The chorus somewhat comes and goes without much change from the verse, it all sort of blends into one, but Shiri is really trying to emphasise the higher notes, adding a good sound to an otherwise average sounding song. It sort of passes by quite easily during the first half, but picks up in the middle when a stonger rhythm and backing track come in, turning it more from a slow ballad to a more mid-tempo number.
Eyes For You is the fourth song on the album. Again, this is one has more of an R n B feel about it, with a good mid-tempo rhythm and soft guitars. The tune on the chorus on this one is lovely, Shiri's voice climbs up and down the melody perfectly, singing about love with real meaning. This is another of my album favourites, its a soft and gentle song but its lingering melody really takes it to the next level for me, a really lovely song. Angel is the fifth song on the album, and another average mid-tempo number for Shiri. This one has an almost Spanishy feel about it, with guitars and a soft rhythm. Again, the backing is very average, and the song really doesn't stand out that much on the album, but it is the singing and lyrics which really worked for me in this song, especially throughout the Chorus. Nicely sung but still average.
Song number 6 is Alone, starting off with a jazz sound with distant trumpets and an electric piano, but soon bursts into song with a great rhythm with drums and Shiri singing gently over it. The melody is another pleasant one, and is very easy to listen to. It is again the chorus for me which stands out for me, Shiri singing about being alone with ease and believability, and this song also contains lyrics from the album title, 'standing on my own'. This is probably another of the better songs on the album. 'Joy' is the penultimate song on the album, with a soft start and the slowest rhythm of all the songs so far. This song seems to have much more emphasis on Shiri's voice, with a gentle backing with some lovely backing singers. Shiri's voice seems to suit the style of jazz-like music and I really enjoyed this one.
The final track on the short album is Beautiful, again another more up-tempo album to round the album off. It's much more of a mainstream pop song from Shiri, with a bouncy rhythm and happy sounding melody. Shiri has a good voice on this one, not too strong but not weak either, just complementing the cheerful song excellently. It's a good ending to the album, but it came around a bit too quickly for my liking! The whole album runs for just 30 minutes, each of the 8 tracks being around the 4 minutes mark (except for 3 minute long Hard to Forget).
It's a good first attempt at an English sung album from the Israeli singer. However, I don't feel that any of the songs really emphasise Shiri's voice as much as her fantastic Eurovision, which I'm listening to at the moment to compare to the eight tracks I have just heard. It's a shame as much more powerful songs and more power balads would have suited Shiri's voice more, and I feel that too many of the songs on here are too average and pass you by without too much notice being paid to them. I think there are around 3 of the tracks which stood out for me, not that great when its out of 8 tracks. I hope her next English language album will be an improvement! A good listen, but quite average.
1. Tender Love
2. Hard To Forget
4. Eyes For You
Released in 2008. Artist: Shiri Maimon. Not available on Amazon or other English retailers. I can't find the site where I got mine from but there are downloads of it available across the Internet, just search for the artist and album name through Google.
Thank you for reading.
Track Listings: 1. Tender Love / 2. Hard To Forget (english version of Yoter Tov Lisloach) / 3. Crossroads / 4. Eyes For You / 5. Angel (english version of Laila) / 6. Alone / 7. Joy / 8. Beautiful