First of all I want to apologize with the lateness of this review. I know I promised it a long time ago, but I just didn’t get to it. Now that the CD’s are piling up I thought I’d start off a week of reviews with this gem of an album.
What a great idea it was to have three amazing and popular artists perform on one album. Everything about this album is a pleasure starting from this wonderful cover. The first cover was ok, but had a sad feel to it, this cover screams of togetherness, brightness and color. That’s a great way to describe this album.
Many people debate how good those “rare” and “undiscovered” Shlomo Carlebach songs are. My take is somewhat simple. I think that it’s not impossible to find good songs that Shlomo composed that just didn’t make it into the mainstream. Look at Shlomo now, he is still one of the most popular forces in Jewish music and he passed away 13 years ago. I know there are some duds, but every artist has hits and misses. To assume only the songs that went mainstream are his hits and nothing new can come out, to me, is foolish.
When you listen to them you think to yourself, “Ya, I can hear Shlomo singing this”, but at the same time with the arrangements and the vocal tracks, these guys really own the songs. What is great about this album is that these guys took songs that were good songs, good Shlomo style songs, and made it their own.
I’m going to move quickly over the songs, because as I wrote before, this week is a week of reviews. I have a lot of CD’s I want to review and I don’t know if I can spend so much time going song to song. But I’ll try.
Ravrevin: The album starts off at a nice pace, nothing too slow or too fast. I like how all three jump right into it, as if they have been singing together for ages. I love all three of these voices together, they are so different but they compliment each other so nicely. It’s not one of my favorites on the album, but I do like it. It’s a nice simple intro to this album.
Boreh Olam: This is one of the first songs I heard and it’s the one MoChassid was kind enough to send me early on. This is one of the defining songs of this album. The way Aaron starts off, the three parts to this song, each part another artist jumps in. This would have been a good intro song, but I like that it’s the second one. It’s like Ravrevin was the music playing in the theatre before the show, gearing you up for the performance, while this song goes straight into the show.
Tzur Yisroel: This is one of those songs that I’m just not into. It’s got a good beat, a nice flow as I say, but it just doesn’t stand out.
K’Shoshana: I go back and forth between this song. I think it’s an awesome song but it’s one of the songs I don’t hear Shlomo singing. I’d have liked to have little snippets of Shlomo singing these songs from whatever recording they found them on. With that said, I think it’s a fantastic song. The harmonies and the music are outstanding. It’s one of my favorites on the album. It’s a great title track, the song has so much heart.
V’Havieunu: This is for my money the first song that really goes wild. I LOVE the intro of Razel doing the impromptu Shlomo “We wanna invite all the Jews around the world, to come to join us in Israel” and the other two in the back saying “Come back home!”, priceless. This is a great song with a lot of spirit. All three guys go back and forth really nicely. It’s a great use of all three singers and it’s a really fun song.
Kol M’Vasser really feels like an Aaron Razel song. Towards the middle it starts feeling more like a Shlomo song, but Aaron really owns this song. The music is really good, and it has a great pace.
Ki Lekach Tov: This also has that Aaron feel to it. I’m sure it has that feel because Aaron did the arrangement, but I don’t think thats a bad thing. I feel it’s these guys singing rare Shlomo songs, but like I wrote in the opening, they own it, the make it their own. I think Aaron does a really good job with the arrangements.
Shuvi Nafshi: I love the start of this song, it’s so different. It’s got class. This definitely has a good Shlomo feel, it’s catchy and really singable. I just love what they do with this. You know they could have just brought on three singers and done a bunch of songs. Or they could have brought in three guys and sung together. Or they could have done what they did on this album which is bring in three guys and really sing together. The harmonies and playback is great. It’s like they are a new group, not just three singers they brought in.
Le Dor V’Dor: Once again this has that Razel signature to it. I think its a nice song, but I just didn’t connect to it. Maybe it was just too slow for my taste. I don’t think it’s a bad song, just didn’t feel it so much. (I have a feeling this is the song MoChassid is gonna say “What?? This is my favorite song! lol)
A Hidden Niggun: Great stuff! The CD is worth it just for this. The beginning of this song is just awesome. It’s all three guys talking to each other asking “What are we doing here Chaim Dovid?” and he answers “We are looking for the missing niggun”, it’s perfect. Nothing I can say can add more to this song. The guitars are insane good, and the niggun is amazing. This is the perfect ending to this CD.
Final Say: What are you waiting for? If you like Aaron Razel or Chaim Dovid or Shlomo Katz or Shlomo Carlebach songs and style, if you like great harmonies, great arrangements and outstanding music you have to have this CD. Buy it for yourself, buy ten copies and give them out as Chanukah gifts.
I can’t wait for what might be next in this series.