Lipa Baderech (Lipa Shmeltzer)
Album can be previewed/purchased at Mostly Music.com
I am going to give you a short run down on Lipa's new Album, "Baderech". No long reports, just what you can expect from the album.
The cover is adorable. Some ingenious graphic artist took a watercolor drawing of the "alta heim", of a bunch of chassidim traveling in a horse and wagon, and inserted Lipa's face and then made it look like watercolor too, and it looks as if he's holding court and telling stories "baderech" on the way to their destination. It's kinda cute.
I think this tape can be enjoyed even by someone who doesnt have a very good command of Yiddish. If you understand a bissel Yiddish, using the tape cover you can enjoy the album. (The way I enjoy Oif Simchas for instance, without really knowing Hebrew).
My personal favorites on the album are 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10-11. The songs are all typical Lipa Style -- very not the usual JM fare. The lyrics for the most part are pretty wacky and the tunes themselves are also very original and catchy. Here we go.
1. Aheim - Mizmor Shir
The song starts out with a slow version of Yossele Rosenblatt's "Aheim oh aheim, breederlech aheim", with some slight variations on the chords. It's great and has a really nice children's choir. Then there's a very cool guitar (or is it banjo?) interlude and the lively part of the song starts. The tune is very catchy but the concept is a little confusing to me -- Aheim, oh aheim, we will build a bayis neeman b'yisrael, the geulah is coming, mizmor shir chanukas habayis... I think he was aiming at a wedding-slash-geulah song here. This definitely sounds like it will become a picked-up wedding song, because it covers both fronts. I really like this song. It's very catchy. It's a combination Possuk and 2 yiddish verses.
2. A Kapara
The tune of this song is really unique. I love it. It's well known story about a chossid whose Rebbe sent him to watch the Innkeeper "shlug kapporas", by holding up one book full of aveiras and one book full of yissurim and then the song asks teh Ribono Shel Olam to shlug kapparas with the yetzer hara. The song is very thoughtful, sung with a lot of feeling, and the tune is also very catchy and beaty (though slow). The music that starts it sounds for a minute like it's gonna turn into a Fiddler on the Roof song, but then I realized that it was violin cleverly played to almost sound like a chicken. The "Zeh Chalifoosi, Zeh Kapooroosi" chorus is really nice. I was sitting yesterday tapping my foot to this song at work.
3. Mi Sh'amar
This is a loshon kodesh song: Mi Sh'amar l'olomo dai, yomar l'tzorosaini dai. It's a hora, similar to a sfardi music a bit, a real toe tapping number. There's some resampling of Lipa's voice in this song, but that only adds to the song. It's my favorite L.K. song on the tape. Lipa composed this song (as well as 1, 2, and 3).
4. Chofetz Chaim
I don't like this song at all. It's a story about a person who was very sick and didn't want to worry his mother so his mother wasn't told. But a tzaddik said, they should tell his mother, because a mother's tears are one of the best things to use in time of need, etc. I don't like the tune nor the concept of teh song. The tune is very lacking, it's basically an offshoot of an old classica motzei shabbos zmiros tune (I think Adir Ayon V'Norah). Not my style.
This is one adorable song. It's a Yossi Green composition. The tune rocks. The choir also rocks. (You can hear Yossi's voice in the choir I believe.) The song starts off with an unidentified voice (to some) saying, "zug nor! di kimst mir gelt!" And the song goes on to ridicule how our lives are totally ruled by money, and whoever has the meah, has the deah, and people are so stingy, even in their old age. The only money you take with you is the tzedakah money. Very original tune. It sounds a lot like a hit camp song. I can already see this being used in camps for color war songs. It's a rock kind of song, very beaty.
6. Avinu Malkeinu
I don't like when side 2 starts with a slow song. this is actually a Pinky Weber composition. It's not bad, but I'm not crazy over it. The child soloist sounds great though. The song reminds me of Al Tastir from his previous album, but I liked that one better.
NOTE: October 26, '03:
Being that this review has gotten more popular lately, I would like to add that this song is today my absolute favorite. I didnt like it the first few times I heard it, but it really grew on me and I think it's nothing short of stunning :). Just thought I'd add this in!
This is a very weird track. The tune is pretty okay, sort of like a waltz, but the lyrics are a bit silly but then again it has a good point to it. It's about how people build dimyonos (illusions, fantasies) over nothing and then fights happen over nothing. He tells the story of the buy who wanted to borrow his neighbor's lawn mower and he was already picturing his neighbor refusing to lend it to him, so he accosted him and said: (and you hear lipa talking in the song in a low voice, its hysterical) "My grass my grow til the sky and I dont need your lawn mower okay??" The lyrics rhyme very well, it's a cutely written song, about how we should stop fantasizing and picturing that the whole world is out to get us, just chill! lol
As Nut said, the tune in this song is beautiful. (Yossi Green composition.) But I think the lyrics are pretty silly... It's about how when you look at coffee grounds you see something that's dark, bitter and dry. but when you add water, sugar and milk, you'll get something warm, sweet, and wet. You need everything in order to live life, the black bitter times and the light sweet times to complete life just like you need both to create coffee, and when times look bad and bitter just wait it will turn sweet. Nice concept but lyrics are not very clear.
This is the tefillas haderech song. I like it. Lipa alternates between the chasidishe pronounciation and the "Skvere" pronounciation, I don't know why.
10. Vus is Nayas?
This song, which segues into song 11, is my favorite song on the album. It starts with Michoel asking Lipa, "Lipa, vus is nayas?" (What's news) The tune is just a riot; I find myself tapping my toes and swaying to the song throughout. The concept is hilarious. Lipa talks how everyone is always obsessed with "what's up? waht's news? what's happening?" The world at large and media are busy with world politics, while us haimishe Yidden are busy with our own news; which mosad makes a dinner, crowns a new rav, etc. But IYH one day we will hear the REALLY GOOD NEWS, when Moshiach will come. The song is really cute, and it then goes right into song 11...
11. Vchol Hachaim -- but this should be entitled "Someday"
The music that introduces this song is very interesting. It's trumpets made to sound as if it's about to sing the intro to Someday, but stops short a few chords. Then Lipa did a very ingenious translation/transliteration of MBD's Someday. For instance, the stanza that goes, "We learn every day, and we daven", he literally sings, "Men lerent yeden tug in men davent". But the funniest part begins when the song is supposed to go, "our scars and our wounds will disappear" -- his words are "Lmaan Yaidi Dorosechem Lmaan TISAPER", and he repeats TISAPER, TISAPER, TISAPER, it mamish sounds like he's saying disappear, disappear, disappear! After that the song becomes very much copied from Someday: avraham and yitzchak kimmen intz antkaigen... yaakov mit di kinder ach vi shain tzi zehn... fin moshe rabbeini, torah yeder nemt, in yerishulayim b'ezras hashem! Lipa cannot go up too high very well, and you hear him audibly straining, but otherwise the song is marvelous. The song ends with a three-line piece that ends in : NU, HUST GEHERT DI GITTE NAYES? (nu, did you hear the great news?)
As I said, this album is quintessential Lipa; funny songs, thoughtful songs with a twist, not your usual JM tunes, a fun album to listen to. If you have a resonable command of Yiddish, you will enjoy this album.
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