Jewish Music Blog

June 27, 2006

Links 6/27/06

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 10:49 pm

Here are some clips of an MBD, Avraham Fried and Yeedle concert in Manchester, England. The captions are quite insightful.

Here is yet another version of Niggun Neshoma. Although I don’t know who’s singing or who’s playing, I am 99.9% sure that it was arranged by Ron Tichon, based on the style of arrangement and sounds used.
(HT life-of-rubin)

Towncrier has a cute Apprentice related video and asks if this is a Miami Boys Choir song.

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June 23, 2006

Sruli Ginsberg Oz Yibakeh – Review

Filed under: Reviews — jewishmusic @ 5:42 pm

Oz Yibakeh is Sruli Ginsberg’s second album (first was Aneini), and it falls under the genre of yeshivish music. Although this album doesn’t diverge significantly from the standard yeshivish sound, there’s something a little more emotional about this album, and it reflects itself in both the music, arranged by Sruli’s brother, Heshi, and the songs, which are composed by Lipa Shemltzer, Yishai Lapidot, R’ Hillel Palei, and other familiar names. The vocals for the most part are very lively and emotional, although they are sometimes inconsistent, especially towards the later songs on the album.

The strength of the songs lies in the fast songs, such as the freilach/rock Heimo, the rock song ChasidiShai, and slow freilach Chasdei. Heimo, composed by Lipa Shemltzer, is an atypical rock/freilach which has a tremendous amount of energy. The tune is great, and has the potential to be played at weddings. (I planned on attaching sheet music in .pdf format for Heimo, but I was unable to figure out how to do this in blogger. Does anyone know if attaching .pdfs is possible in blogger?) Chasdei is an above-average slow freilach, and the tune is emotional and the arrangement is original and compliments the vocals well. ChasidiShai, composed by Yishai Lapidot, is a niggun with no words, and is a very traditional tune, which is unusual for Lapidot. The tune has a great interlude with slap bass and then goes into a funky groove. The ballads for the most part are not as good as the fast songs.

The arrangements and tunes are more varied than most yeshivish albums. ChasidiShai has a 70s disco feel, with pitch bent strings, rhodes, and wah-wah guitar. Ein Aroch is arranged very well, with interesting chord changes in the intro, and a I7 chord before a V chord. The string section sounds very emotional, especially in the intro to Oz Yibakeh, which is unusual for a Jewish album where the string section usually sounds canned. All in all, there is a great deal of variety on this album.

Sruli’s vocals sometimes sound like Baruch Aboud, Yisroel Williger, Lipa and Yeedle, but the bottom line is that he has a unique voice. The only aspect of his singing I didn’t like is that when he bends into notes, they are often out of tune. This is especially apparent in the ballads.

Oz Yibakeh is a yeshivish album plus. The arrangements and tunes are slightly more sophisticated than usual, which makes for interesting listening.

Some pictures from this album are available here and here, and the track B’fi is available here towards the bottom of the page.

June 16, 2006

Yehuda Generations of Song – Review

Filed under: Reviews — jewishmusic @ 3:14 pm

It’s been a little over 4 years since Yehuda’s last album, Eftach Pi, and Generations of Song is a welcome addition to the Yehuda family. This album has everything that makes a Yehuda album great – tasteful arrangements and vocals, as well as classic Yehuda-style discos and ballads.

Generations of Song is arranged by Yehuda, and its sound is very similar to Eftach Pi, which unlike Yehuda’s earlier albums, uses real instruments as well as synth sounds. There are a couple of notable changes from Eftach Pi, though. Similar to Yehuda & Friends, several songs such as Shimu and Aleinu, have duets. Also, Yehuda steps up his vocals by singing higher notes more often. This album also includes the now popular Niggun Neshomele (aka Niggun Neshoma), and Yehuda’s version is done very well. The musicians have a chance to improvise, and the groove is just right. The song Chai Hashem has a great soft-rock groove, and Ana Avda is a Turkish hora which utilizes several world instruments. The title song is a gentle jazzy ballad which starts off with very tasteful smooth jazz piano covered by Yaron Gotfried. This is the best I’ve ever heard of Gotfried, who always seems a little too mechanical.

What I like most about Yehuda is that everything fits. What I mean by this is that ballads remain heartfelt ballads, and don’t transform into hard-rock ballads, and even his rockiest song, Psach Libi, doesn’t use heavy distortion guitar just for the sake of using distortion guitar. Another example of how everything fits is that the tunes fit the lyrics to tunes. Nachem is a ballad, and not a catchy rock song. Yehuda also uses the choir very creatively by switching parts of melodies from the choir to himself such as in Niggun Neshomele and Psach Libi, and by improvising over the choir.

Yehuda takes his significant musical experience and the result is an album that manages to surpass his previous albums. This album is a must for Yehuda fans, and even for some non-Yehuda fans.

June 13, 2006

Update…

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 5:24 pm

I’m in the process of reviewing Yossi and Yerachmiel, Yehuda – Generations of Song, and Sruli Ginsberg. Hopefully I’ll have the first review posted sometime this week.

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