Here are my my picks and thoughts on this years Jewish Music Awards.
Best Album: MBD’s Kulam Ahuvim, by a nose. Although Benny’s CD is so fresh and there are so many overall better songs, MBD is just at that level. Benny is great, but MBD is still MBD. The future is wide open for Benny. Honorable mention:Kaufman’s Avodas Tzedakah has some real winners on it!
Best Song: Another close one, but I think it’s Yonatan Razel and Yaakov Shwekey’s V’hi She’amda by another nose. B’yinan Hasimcha is a mega hit, but V’hi Sheamda is another Rachaim/Anovim. It’s going to be around for such a long time we’ll get a “I’m So Sick of V’hi Sheamda” CD. Honorable mention: Benny Friedman’s Letova.
Best Debut Album: Taamu – Benny Friedman. This isn’t even close, come on. Benny’s CD is probably the best debut album since Shloime Gertner, and possibly even better. I’d say Gertner and Benny are debut albums of the decade, but we’re only doing2009, so Benny gets this award without blinking an eye.
Best Arrangement: Benny Friedman’s No Lyrics, again, by a mile. I’m not even sure why Kulam Ahuvim is in here, I’d have thought Omar Rabbi Akiva would be the MBD submission in this category. Honorable mention: Shua Kessin’s Bye Bye Bye. I look forward to hearing more from both Ruli Ezrachi and Ian Freitor.
Boys Choir Album: As you see from the voting this is possibly the toughest of all the categories. Miami’s Yovo was the first Miami CD I thoroughly enjoyed in a very long time. It was a great CD. But Kol Noar was a very fresh, and fun album. Winner: Miami’s Yovo. Honorable mention: Sheves Chaverim!!!
Best English Song: There are no winners here. Where are the No Jew Will be Left Behind’s? Where are the Someday’s? The Forever One’s? Where is Abie Rotenberg? We desperately need another Journeys …
Best Yiddish Song: Benny Friedman’s Emes. This song just has got – it – going on. Honorable mention: Fried’s Yankel Yankel.
Best Concert DVD: I am not a fan of concert DVD’s but Avraham Fried’s Live in Israel is a masterpiece.