Daniel Grinberg’s Short Stories is a 12-song album with beautiful production, skillful performances, and an underlying lyrical wholesomeness.
There are a few different singers on the album: Alex, Aveva Dese, and Yoav Arbel. I’m not sure what Grinberg’s role is, but I’m assuming he creates the instrumental tracks and writes the songs.
The first thing I noticed about the album is its production value; the songs are immaculately mixed and mastered, and the classic instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums sounds at its finest. (Later on, on track #10 “Michaela,” we see an introduction of strings, but I’m pretty sure they’re synthetic.)
Grinberg is based in Tel Aviv, and these songs have incredible simple lyrics. I assume this is due to English being a second language, and I initially contemplated critiquing them without regards to their writer’s primary language, but I think that’d be a mistake. If most modern songwriters I know tried to write a song in another language it’d be fucking terrible, and these, while simple, are definitely not terrible.
What they are is honest. Honest, and friendly. Look at track #11 “Thanks:” Thanks to your lips/ Thanks to your smile/ Thanks to your eyes/ which look so wise/ Thanks to your words/ Which mean so much/ Thanks to your voice/ Thanks to your love/ Thanks to your jokes/ And your insights/ Thanks to your love/ Your faith and trust/ You give me life/ You give me hope/ You let me feel/ That I belong”
I could go on, but I’ve made my point. These lyrics are incredibly straightforward, and that openness is, frankly, beautiful. When was the last time you looked around and said thanks? It’s been a long time for me.
I get so wrapped up in judging imagery, metaphor, internal rhyme and refrain placement that listening to a song like “Thanks” took me by complete surprise. Sometimes, a song will have lyrics that are delivered in a unique way; the idea will be wrapped up in a shiny metaphor parcel that takes days to slowly unwrap. Other times, the point of a song will be right there, bare, requiring no intellectualization or manual labour. This is one of those songs. Ultimately, the point gets across either way.
“Thanks” is my favourite track off the record, but #9 “Beyond” was nice, as were the vocals in #4 “White Fields.”
These songs build well; Grinberg knows how to layer his instrumentation and emphasize the emotions at the end of his lyrics, and many of these songs were goosebump-raising towards their conclusions.
I couldn’t find much information about Grinberg, and he sent no press release, so I’m woefully bereft of more information. I would love to hear more music from him.
Short Stories took me by surprise. Its skilled production and well-played instruments, combined with the heartwarming messages in most of its songs, made me very happy to be reviewing new music.
Sometimes the best messages are the simplest ones, and this album reminded me to say thanks and to do good in the world. What more is music meant for?
1. 80 Years
3. Hey You
4. White Fields
5. The Forest
6. House of Dreams
7. Back Home
8. Old Town
12. You Give Me