Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jewish Music Review: Shlomo Simcha

As promised , here is my in-depth review on Shlomo Simcha's latest release.

Shlomo Simcha Review Album entitled “Shlomo Simcha”.

Arrangements by Yisroel Lamm, Music Coordinator, Heshy Walfish

Lo Yisa: composed by Eli Laufer

The intro starts out with a fanfare style intro that has many elements of classical mixed with electric guitar with a full orchestra and strangely goes into a oompah freilach. What makes it even stranger is the use of a timpani at the end of the first stanza and it’s continued use seems out of place. The tune is ok but I’m not sure it’ll hit the wedding circuit.

Rating: 7

Eitz Chaim: composed by Boruch Levine New theme by Heshi Kunriech

This song was originally sung by Yehuda with the words Ashreinu on the album titled Kol Yisroel Chaverim. It also features a guest appearance by Rivie Schwebel. I think this ballad can be played at weddings but I’m uncertain if it will become popular.The intro sounds like it came right out of Journeys and is classic Yisroel Lamm.The tune happens to be my favorite ballad on the album.

Rating: 8 ½

Sholom Aleichem: Taught by Rabbi Shlomo Klien of Camp Ma-Na-Vu

I have to assume by this language that Rabbi Klien did not write this song.

The song seems to be a “song within a song”. The intro reminds of some old chassidish niggun they sing “shabbos sholom umivoroch” in “chassidishe verte” and then there is an orchestral intro ( or bridge) and then starts the song. The sholom aliechem part is nice and catchy and the arrangements are tasteful.

Rating: 8

Rifahainu: composed and arranged by Heshy Walfish

The intro starts off with a sting vamp and goes into a ballad intro Shlomo Simcha starts out very slow and dramatic. The first part is a chazzan piece where he hits some very high notes. The song is the longest on the album at about 10 min.

Rating: 7 ½

Mitzvah Gedolah: Composed by Sheya Mendelowitz.

This is a classic Frielach with a retro but very nice intro. The high part has more of a niggun than words and I happen to like the way he sounds singing it. Later there is a bridge featuring electric guitar with the choir. The arrangements keep this song interesting.

Rating: 8 ½

Meloch: composed by Pinki Weber

This ballad takes a more serious tone. No major chords here if it was to played at a wedding it is something a chosson might walk down to.

Rating: 7 ½

Yiru Ainainu: composed by Yossi Toiv ( Country Yossi) and Heshy Walfish

Another moderate freilach and it is cetrtainly catchy enough. I’m not sure it’s unique enough to make it’s mark however.

Rating: 7 ½

Al Naharos: composed by Yigal Calek

An intro that would be typical of Journeys again. Very interesting to say the least with the use of a harp and reed intro.It starts off slow and then picks up to a more moderate tempo.

Rating: 7

Miracles: Music by Abie rotenberg-Lyrics by Bella (Rotenberg) Levitan.

This intro is magnificent featuring violin and piano. This is hands down the best song on the album which is interesting being that it’s an english song. The lyrics are not bad by english songs standards on Jewish albums. This is not the best songs for Shlomo as Abie sounds better singing english. The arrangements are very good but I would have like to have heard a third part to this tune.


Horah Shirah: Composed Yitzchok Rosenthal

As the song explains it’s the only Horah on this album. The song is sung both in hebrew and yiddish. It’s not bad but it’s missing a dynamic that could make it exciting.

Rating: 7 ½

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