Charmed & Strange

Studio Album by released in 2008

Charmed & Strange review

Yoav doesn't limit himself with standards

It's so happened that acoustic guitar is rarely apprehended as something really useful for musical experiments. And actually it is small wonder. All the popular genres, which exploit possibilities of this instrument, be it rock, blues or jazz - are modern classic and classic, as it is well-known, always stay devoted to its principles. However, there are people who are capable of shaking the settled image of acoustic guitar and who can show what else this instrument is able to do. Guitarist-singer-songwriter called Yoav is not inclined to limit himself with standards. Guitar is the only instrument he plays but he creates solid, full-weight compositions without using other instruments or resorting to the help of other musicians. His debut album Charmed & Strange is really unusual and interesting record.

Unconventional style of Charmed & Strage

Charmed & Strange has two peculiarities. The first one lies in that very fact that 90% of all arrangements were recorded only with the help of acoustic guitar. Even beat here is none other than taps and claps over its wooden body. The second is the sound and the style. Yoav indeed breaks the idea about acoustic guitar techniques therefore you shouldn't expect to hear a virtuosic guitarist who works in a traditional vein. Yoav sounds more like a DJ. He uses rhythmic guitar loops as samples laying them one on another and thus creating something like a pseudo band for himself and then proceeds developing the theme. The subtleties of guitar craftsmanship are pushed deep to the background, there is nothing extra complex in his techniques, the atmosphere and the air are much more important here. The style of Charmed & Strange is extremely ambiguous. The character of the music combines aloofness of trance, chill of industrial, softness of contemporary R&B and even pulse of Hip-Hop. Charmed & Strange sounds much more similar to dance music than to folk, acoustic rock or things alike and this is where the whole charm of this record lies.

Charmed & Strange is a very versatile album

In addition it is necessary to mention vocals, which play a pretty important role here too. As it was said earlier, Charmed & Strange is not an album of virtuosic guitarist; perhaps Yoav has found an unconventional playing method but his material is still based on the same good old songwriting approach. He sings very calmly and leisurely, basically in the average register, which actually brings him closer to rock singers. However, falsetto and high-pitched notes are omnipresent in his songs either, and during such parts you unintentionally start comparing him to, let's say, Timberlake. The most exemplifying tracks here are Adore Adore, Club Thing, Beautiful Lie and There Is Nobody. These songs are very different but each of them represents Yoav's original ideas in the most striking way. Charmed & Strange is a very versatile album. It is unusual in both ways technically and musically. Most likely, this record will be interesting to admirers of club and lounge music, if you like acoustic rock for instance than Charmed & Strange will hardly live up to your expectations. However, this album is worthy of attention simply because it widens horizons.