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Charmed & Strange

4.9 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 29, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The acoustic guitar. Like drums or the human voice, this instrument is so common in Western popular music, it's easy to take for granted. Until you hear what it can do in the hands of an artist like Yoav. Charmed And Strange, the debut album from the London-based artist, incorporates myriad sounds: woozy vapor trails; clipped, modern club beats; Middle Eastern flourishes; flashes of quiet introspection reminiscent of Nick Drake; eerie outcries a la Jeff Buckley. All crafted by Yoav, using only his voice, an acoustic guitar, simple effects and treatments... and a lot of imagination.

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He sings into his guitar, slaps it around quite a bit and you wouldn't be entirely surprised if he happened to throw it down and stomp on it with his bare feet. Born in Israel, raised in South Africa and now splitting his time between Montreal and London, Yoav isn't quite like other singer-songwriters. He counts Timbaland and the Neptunes as major influences and spends as much time coaxing funky rhythms out of his battered acoustic guitar as he does strumming it. He won over Tori Amos' fans after supporting her on tour, which makes sense. The songs on his debut album, Charmed and Strange are quirky and inventive. Listening to the dense, multilayered arrangements on "Adore Adore" and "Club Thing," or even his ethereal take on the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?," you'd be hard-pressed to believe that the whole thing was played on that poor six-string. -- Aidin Vaziri
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 29, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: January 29, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve Forecast
  • ASIN: B0012DR42Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,058 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As with many, I first heard Yoav at a Tori Amos concert this last December, and I do have to say his performance was pretty awesome (especially considering the act immediately following). The banging on the guitar, recording and playing of loops, then filling in the final components of each song was very intriguing. People were pretty much silent during his performances, which shows a lot for an opening act. I picked up this album the day that it was released in U.S. stores, and I've been listening to it nonstop since then. I can't say that there is one filler song on this album. The lyrics are a little weak at times, and I do prefer the live versions of There is Nobody and One by One from the Adore EP, but overall Charmed and Strange is rich, haunting, and extremely satisfying. You would be missing out on something very great and unique by not giving this album a chance. It'll be interesting to see how he will be received here in the U.S. in the coming year.
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A Kid's Review on February 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I've seen Yoav live several times. The man is amazing, talented, with a velvety voice that can croon, soar, and send shivers down your spine. His album, his debut, is riveting and gorgeous. Some highlights are "Adore, Adore" a song about people who are in the music industry for the wrong reasons, "Beautiful Lie" a song about dishonesty in a relationship, "Club Thing" which has a rockin beat and killer chorus. One of the most beautiful songs, though, is "Angels and Animals." It's worth $[...] for just that song, trust me. His best songwriting. The album closes with a slow, methodical version of "Where is my Mind?" originally by the Pixies.

This man can write, sing, play guitar, and all of his loop petal effects are amazing, especially watching him play live. Go see him live if you can, and snap up this album. Yoav is sure to hit it big!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like many reviewers and others, the first time I heard him was his opening act for Tori Amos last year. I liked his style of strumming and drumming his guitar and recording it so it loops and he can play over it. I thought it was a fantastic way of further exploring what an instrument can do.

Yoav's voice is very mellifluous, but if there are times high-pitched singing isn't your cup of tea, some of the songs here aren't for you. (However, it's not as annoying as James Blunt's voice can be.) The sparsity of background music to his voice gives him more a lot more emotional impact. His voice is very haunting.

I didn't listen to his songs on iTunes beforehand so this is my first experience listening to more than the songs he played during the opening act - the cover of the Pixies's "Where is My Mind?", "Beautiful Lie", "Club Thing" and "Adore Adore." I love all four of those songs, and the new songs I replay often are "There is Nobody" and "Yeah, the End." There are different moods to this album. Some songs make me want to dance - "Club Thing" - others make me want to grab my special someone and slowly sway against them - "Yeah, the End" due more to its beats then lyrics - and yet more moods. His lyrics are a little simplistic, but that's good if you don't want to have to analyze a song like poetry in English classes.
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By CJS on February 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I too first saw Yoav when he opened for Tori last fall. I'm not sure if you can fully appreciate his music unless you have seen him perform live. Since everything you hear is coming from his accustic guitar (the beats, bass and even errie sounds played on a loop), watching him actually build a song live, completely by himself, is amazing to watch. But this CD is the next best thing.

The music has a fresh sound that is both haunting and beautiful to listen to. It's a great start and I am anxious to see where he goes from here.
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Format: Audio CD
I saw Yoav open for Tori Amos in Louisville, KY, and I had to have his CD...well, now I do!

At first listen I liked six or seven out of eleven songs, now, after listening to it a couple of more times, I like ten out of eleven. (The only one I have problem with is "Sometimes..." it starts off nicely, but then it goes downhill. Maybe it'll grow on me.) Either way, liking ten out of eleven songs is pretty damn good!

My favorites before buying the album (based on the iTunes Adore single and Adore EP): Adore Adore, Beautiful Lie, There Is Nobody, One By One.

After getting the album, here are my other favorites: Club Thing, Live, Wake Up, Yeah The End, and Where Is My Mind (not his song, but an amazing cover nontheless).

The only major problem I had was with "There Is Nobody"...it sounds different than it does on the iTunes Adore single, and not in a good way. It's the same recording (as far as I can tell) but now it sounds muffled for some reason. Maybe it's just my copy, but I prefer the clearer iTunes version.

Yoav is much better live, in my opinion, so if you get the chance to see him live, don't miss it.

Recommended for people who like unique singer-songwriters.

-Ater
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Format: Audio CD
Released in 2008, this CD is definitely different as compared to anything that I have ever heard before. Different in a good way.

Yoav Sadan's music is purely simple, acoustic guitar and his vocals. Bass and percussion on the CD are compliments of deft finger slapping on his acoustic guitar. The man makes his guitar sound like an electronic drum box using only his hands. It's amazing.

This debut album has gone on to critical acclaim and he has since been on a tour of sold out concerts everywhere.

I read that, his sound can be compared to Justin Timberlake recording with Massive Attack. Seems appropriate to me.

His music is a sensory playground where we all can gather and be hypnotized by his powerful singing voice. Lose yourself in the multiple rhythms that develop in each song. The man is doing his part to transform music to a better place. A place where people of different music tastes can all enjoy the same music.
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