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Yael Naim
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Product Description

To begin with, this album was meant to focus solely on guitar and vocals. But little by little Yael and David Donatien, who encouraged her to sing in Hebrew, padded out the architecture and formed a team. Xavier Tribolet (drums), Laurent David (bass), Voed Nir (cello) and Julien Feltin (electric guitar) joined them as well as S.Husky Huskolds for the mix (Tom Waits, Fiona Apple, Me'Shell Ndegeocello). The instrumentation is pretty minimalist here yet incredibly colourful with the participation of the brass section, the Mellotron, the cello and some programming. Recorded in the young woman's flat in Paris the 13 songs contain a part of Yael happy (Endless Song of Happiness) and a melancholic (Paris, Lonely) existence. Some of them, like Yashanti or Lachlom dive into dreams, others like Baboker bathe in the serenity found at the break of day. Shelcha looks at a love with no future. The most outrageous is of course the cover of Britney Spears' Toxic. Listening to these little marvels could possibly remind us of old friends like Tori Amos or Fiona Apple. Yet the ensemble isn't witness to excessive borrowing or exaggerated marking, but quite the contrary revealing a sincerity and absolute musical clarity. In fact it is quite astonishing how something that sounds so familiar could seduce our ears with such a nude and original beauty. Perhaps it is due to the dominance of Hebrew, a language so rarely sung in this context, that comes across as universal as Cesaria Evora's Portuguese Creole? Or is it the simply the very freshness exhaled by the personality of this young woman who discovers in New Soul - sung in English with a contagious optimism - that she is "a new soul, in this foreign world, hoping to learn a little"? "It was when I was really young that I sincerely believed to be an old soul reincarnated and I could even say it gave me a sense of superiority over others. But then as I subsequently did everything the wrong way round I concluded that it was actually my first time on earth and that I should learn to be a more humble." On Far Far, she herself delivers this other perspective, that of a little girl who chases her dreams but who can only achieve them by accepting the "beautiful mess inside". In short both her own personal history and that of this simply magical record.

2007 sophomore album from the Paris-born and Israel raised singer, songwriter and musician who has also recorded under the name Yael. This album, which features songs sung in French, English and Hebrew, features the worldwide sensation 'New Soul', a track that has gained fame as being the music played during Apple's Macbook Air ad campaign in 2008. . 13 tracks total. Warner.

Customer Reviews:

  • An incredible sophomore album by one of the best young singers to come out of Israel
    A beautiful album in French, Hebrew and English, Yael Naim is the best singer-songwriter to come out of Israel since Achinoam Nini (aka Noa)....more info
  • Israeli Nouvelle Chanson
    Yael Naim's self-titled album is a refreshing musical discovery. It's a breakup album, but it is more thoughtful and melancholy. It was recorded entirely in Yael's Parisian apartment. The album art recalls the Jewish feast of Sukkot, the harvest festival when people make booths open to the stars above. It's a musical feast. Like autumn, it is melancholy, yet it is fruitful.

    The opening song,"Paris",is a bittersweet ode to the City of Light. "Too Long" is a mesmerizing song of longing. Of course, there's the klezmer/trip-hop of the hit "New Soul." "Levater" and "Shelcha" are hypnotic,haunting melodies. "Lonely" is a plea to an emotionally distant lover, with the words "I'll never leave you/standing in a storm." "Far far" is colored with sampled birdsong. The closing song, "Endless Song of Happiness" is optimistic and hopeful. The most surprising track is Naim's cover of Britney Spears' "Toxic." She turns bubblegum pop into something desperate and sad.

    Yael Naim is an amazing musical discovery. She's brought new soul into the world of music! Along with the Idan Raichel Project and David Broza, she's transforming Israel into a musical oasis....more info
  • Another one hit wonder...
    New Soul is a catchy wonderful song...everyone should buy it...but the album is nothing special and has only a couple of English lyric songs, which aren't very good....more info
  • More than an Apple Commercial
    The song "New Soul" is catchy and fun, and the rest of the Album holds quite well. The songs are original and melodic. Loved it....more info
  • hauntingly beautiful melodies from a wonderful new singer.....
    Yael Naim is best known for the Air lap top song "New Soul" (as well as a great and quirky music video, featuring Naim literally creating a world for herself, from the fantastical paintings she adds as embellishments to photos in her new apartment, magically coming to life). Born of Tunisian/Sephardi-Jewish heritage, this new Parisian-born singer breathes new life into music, all the while infusing elements from her heritage into the melodies she sings (complete with muted acoustic guitars, melodica, piano, and what are described as "rhythm sounds" among others). Encouraged by her musical partner, David Donatien, to sing in Hebrew, as well as in French, this album succeeds on many levels. Also, her unexpected cover of "Toxic" (yes, originally recorded by Britney Spears), sounds decidedly understated, almost as though Yael is performing it at a jazz club somewhere, with minimal acoustical accompaniment. The liner notes include both Hebrew and English lyrics, and it's wonderful to see how Yael Naim integrates/fuses together her bicultural (or should I say multicultural?) voyage through music, poetry and musical experimentation. ...more info
  • It Wears on You
    The novelty factor in this album (she sings in several different languages) wears off quick. If you want world music I'd recommend the Putumayo CDs. This album here is dull and repetitious (though exciting at first because you have no idea what she's on about)....more info
  • Thanks to Apple!
    New Soul is a big hit thanks to APPLE using it for the new macbook air ads! Apple really does a good job promoting new artists. I liked the "Toxic" song a lot really haunting voice. Enjoy! ...more info
  • How's your Hebrew?
    Like many people, I got this album because of the MacBook Air laptop ad featuring the track "New Soul", which is already released as a single. Yael Naim is a French artiste now living in Israel, and the tracks are in Hebrew, French and English.

    She has a distinctive singing voice, and specializes in sultry jazzy numbers, sometimes with a folksy lilt. The song of the album is of course "New Soul", and there's an unusual, unexpected and very strange interpretation of "Toxic", originally sung by Britney Spears.

    Other tracks to note are:

    "Paris" - sung in Hebrew and French, which translated is an ode to her favorite city.

    "Too Long" - a plaintive song in English where she sings "I waited for so long / Outside myself / You see I was pretending / To be someone else"

    "Shelcha" - a slow Enya-type song in Hebrew and English

    "Lonely" - a minimalistic, simple, melancholy song in English, definitely NOT a karaoke song

    "Far Far" - another single, in English, that goes "How can you stay outside? / There's a beautiful mess inside"

    "Lachlom" - a dreamy song in Hebrew

    "Pachad" - jazzy piano intro leading into Hebrew lyrics

    A great easy-listening album for when you're in the mood for something new and a little different.

    Amanda Richards, March 26, 2008
    ...more info
  • Worth a listen
    My Introduction to Yael Naim was a live performance on the "World Cafe". I had never heard of her before. Her voice just knock me out. I bought this CD that day. I was not disappointed when I heard it. Give the samples a listen you might have the same reaction I did. New Soul is a fun pop tune and her singing in different languages did not wear on me. It is a great example of how a voice can be a musical instrument...more info
  • Not what I thought...
    This was not what I thought it was and I really did not care for it....more info
  • Nice Song
    I bought the "New Soul" song after seeing the Macbook air ad. Very nice song!...more info
  • "There's a beautiful mess inside..." (4.5 stars)
    One day while browsing Amazon I somehow stumbled upon Yael Naim. I had never heard of her before but when I learned that she was the voice behind the wispy music featured on Apple's Macbook Air commercial my interest peaked. "New World" has such a fun, playful feel to it but the rest of the album is a bit more somber sounding. More notable tracks like "Too Long" and "Far Far" are definitely accessible to the ears, making for perfect radio play, but for me the highlights include those not sung in English. "Levatar", "Shelcha" with David Donatien, and "Pachad" in particular stood out with me the most. Her voice is like sweet silk rolling off the tongue when she sings in French and Hebrew, which I find to be a wonderful example of how music can be universal. She breaks through the language barriers for a truly unique listening experience that centers heavily on her gorgeous, expressive vocals with just subtle acoustics and electronics to enhance the mood. She even does a decent downtempo cover of Britney Spears' "Toxic" that's actually made tolerable in the hands of someone with talent.

    Yael Naim is definitely a promising new artist to watch out for. I can't stop listening to her debut album and hope this isn't the last I hear from her....more info
  • Endless song(s) of hapiness
    What a beautiful lilting voice and her songs make your heart sing. On a gray day in New England Yael Niam brings sunshine to my desk while I work. I am looking forward to her next release - Please dont keep us waiting too long. ...more info
  • Lovelyyy...
    If you like the sounds of French, with a mix of Hebrew and English then this is the perfect CD to purchase! Yael Naim's voice is incredible and the songs are equally so...! There's also a special cover that is done in a neat way. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely....more info