Sunday, December 09, 2007

Jewish Music Review: Aryeh Kunstler

Coming from an extremely musical family it's not surprising that Aryeh Kunstler has decided to release his debut album "From the Depths". It was interesting to learn that this young man had turned into a pretty impressive guitar player. This album would not be confused with the"Shiny shoe music" group and it's more in line with the Blue Fringe era. Even though this style is not what I usually listen to in the Jewish Music genre, I found myself really enjoying this album. The guests on this album include his brother Dani Kunstler and Lenny Solomon of Shlock Rock fame. The album opener "Oseh Shalom", starts off with acoustic guitar and is a "feel good" catchy style in major that really grabs you and may get your feet tapping right off. (Warning: if you start humming this tune in middle of class, you'll know why). Aryeh then moves into a relaxing moderate ballad in "Az Yashir", yet another nice tune which combines the electric and acoustic guitars. Next tune is one of my favorites and I believe it really shows Aryeh's talent both musically and certainly vocally. I'm speaking of "Mizmor Shir" and features Lenny Solomon on back up vocals. The groove is fantastic and the hebrew and English lyrics really work well together. Aryeh's next tune is "Im Eshkachech", a melancholy rock tune that expresses the words in a way that really fits in that genre. To pick you back up from the sad and lonely, Aryeh brings you "Modeh Ani" which you might dub as the " Rock n' roll" niggun (or maybe just me?). Aryeh dedicates the next ballad to his aunt: "Hateh Alei". This song again shows Aryeh's ability to translate the meaning of the lyrics well into the music in this really sad but beautiful melody. Aryeh then discusses the battle with "yetzer hora" in this rock/country style tune: "Show me your love" another great English song. The next tune, "Miokolos" is dedicated to Avinoam Grossman, an 18-year-old yeshiva bochur from Long Island, NY who drowned off the western coast of Australia. This beautiful haunting melody really tugs at your soul (tissue box not included). Aryeh then shows his heavier metal side with "Mimakim" which is the title track and shows off some more of his guitar talent and features some cool synth from Avi Tai. The next tune is "Aileh Vrechev" a moderate rock/ pop style that also features more guitar soloing by Aryeh.The last song (on the album cover) is "Gates": This songs features some great vocal harmonies and the acoustic guitars really bring out the message at neilah of Yom Kippur. The hidden track is the "Chavrusa break up" song which will certainly bring smiles to many. There really aren't any fillers on this CD and Aryeh proves that he's a serious songwriter/arranger and is sure to be a face you'll be seeing more of on the Jewish Music scene. To purchase this album click here.


Baila said...

Aryeh Kuntsler is the new MBD! Mark my words he will be here for many years to come!

Y.E. said...

new mbd??? wow, different genre - but i def agree with the second half baila. lol

Jewish Blogmeister said...

that's funny I doubt you would ever hear those two words uttered in the same sentence :)

YK said...

new MBD? out of your mind?
If he's MBD, Blue Fringe can be A. Fried. Yes, Blue Fringe is a group but anything is possible in your world! :)


Baila said...

I did not mean his style, what I meant to say was that he is definitely going to become a legend in the jewish music scene

Aryeh Kunstler said...

Thanks Baila!
Im glad you're enjoying the album.

And thanks Blogmeister for the review!

Be well, enjoy the last of Chanukah.


kagang said...

I just found some of aryeh's music. not sure why i havnt heard any of it before... and i was listening to mikolos....and the words reminded me of an event that occured, and my discussions with people after. i looked it up on the net and discovered that the song is dedicated to avinoam z'l. i am now sitting here sobbing. the song is about the very thing it made me think about. I live in perth Australia, and had the merit of spending his last shabbos with him.
he left his mark on my community.

Shira said...

I have this CD, and i actually listen to it all the time! I love it!!