Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Mona 3



Album can be previewed/purchased at Mostly Music.com

Reviewer: Shloime


This is my first ever review on a cd for this site and hopefully the start of many, so let me hear all of your comments and go easy on me ;). here it goes.

This cd, as Mindy has described, is gold. Every single song is great. The fast songs are all "lebedieg" and get you dancing from the start to the end, and you will be humming them right after you hear them. All the slow songs hit the soul and have unique words to them. The music, the choir, the singers chosen for the songs are flawless. Mona had done an ubelievable job with this album. Very talented mentch.Now her are the songs individually.

1)Melech, Melech, Melech:
sung by: MBD

The trumpets start sounding like a kings coming. The choir starts off the song (i was hoping MBD was going to start off) and then MBD starts the 2nd time around. The music is not that rocked up but played nicely. MBD doesnt sing too much on this track, i hought his Melech chorus could of been better, its mostly the choir but the choir sounds great.

2) Moriah:
sung by: Avraham Fried

This song has to be the best on the tape and is def going to be Fried's next hit. Avraham Fried sounds amazing and his voice is so strong. The choir starts off " Lama nikrah moriah" then the music starts off with the piano sounding beautiful. All the notes that AF hits are flawless and sounds great. AF sings harmony the 2nd time around, awesome ;). You can hear his heart goes into this the whole song. and just when you think the song is about to end, AF hits a high note, the song starts up again with the high part. For teh final few seconds you hear people clapping along to the song, i dont know what that was all about but who cares it was nice. does anybody know what the whole story about the meaning of these words are?

3) Moshe Rabeinu:
sung by: Lipa

Starts off with thunder blasting, the first time i heard this i jumped :). and i listen to my music loud ;). i dont know what that was about but it was cool. the song is about Moshe Rabeinu's life but thats all i know. Mindy, waiting for the translation. the song flows well and Lipa just makes it so much better. The best part is when Lipa sings " Vayameinu ba hashem uve moshe ovdo". The music is great. the song has a little hebrew at the end and Lipa ends it off well. Lipa once again is making us all dance and smile :).

4) Leheisaneg:
sung by: Dudi Hertz, Avrumi Roth, Shlomoh Cohen

starts off jazzy, then the choir, very cool intro. One song you will be humming right after you hear it. Avrumi Roth starts off, then Dudi Hertz sings the high part. Dudi doesnt try to belt it out just sings the song very nicely and sounds awesome. The "Nan na na na's" Dudi sings sounds great. just when you thought Avrumi Roth was going to close out the song with a Chazanish end, he screams out "Lebedieg", it was great and then they start up again.

5) Mekimi:
sung by: Efraim and Avi Rosenblum, MBD

The words are very meaningful and the music is unbelievable. one of the brothers starts off and then it sounds like the younger one of the two goes after, MBD is doing harmony, sounds great. Then MBD sings, people MBD sounds AWESOME, he sounds like how he used to sound 10 years ago. i miss it. The chorus sounds great and MBD sings this song so well. If you miss MBD's true voice, guys you got to pick this album up. MBD ends the song on a really high note and hits it flawlessly.

6) Vesiegaleh:
sung by: Shloime Daskal, Efraim Mendelsohn

The intro sounds like it could of started the album off. Shloime Daskal sounds awesome and i am a big, big fan of his. his voice is so unique. He sings the niggun great and hits some pretty good high notes. Efraim sounds so much like MBD in this song. Shloime holds a high note at the end for a long time, sounds good.
7) Retzonchah Shetakir:
sung by: Dudu Hertz, Shlomoh Cohen

Another unbelievable slow song by Mona. Dudi and Shlomoh sing this song perfectly, they both sound awesome. You can get a glance of Dudi's great range. i would of liked them to sing together at one point. the words and the music hit me right away. i played this song over 3 straight times. at about 5 minutes into the song Shlomoh takes over the high part. would of liked to hear him more. i was thinking that this this would of been a great song for Shwekey, he would of done a great job with this song. Anybody know where the words are from?

8) This track is a Niggun, sounds nice, thats all i can say.

9)Vanachnu koirim:
sung by: Aharon Samet, Shlomoh Cohen

Anybody know who the person singing this song is? Has a nice twist to this song. Shlomoh sounds great.

10) Adon haslichot
a sefardish middle eastern song with the right singer singing

this song. the choir also fits in the song well. Its like a fast Kol Nidrei song. very unique. in the middle of the song, you get a little "oy yoy yoy's" sounds good. i dont know why Mona put this on thsi album, the whole cd is chasidish style and then he puts in a true sefardish song in. i mean its a cool song, i guess he wants to atrract the other crowd ;)

oh well, i hope you all enjoy my review, comment as much as you want and tell me what you think.

shloime


Reviewer: Mindy



This is the first time in a very long time that I’m writing a review of an album knowing that nobody affiliated with the CD will read it. I love this CD so much I want to share the knowledge with the general public. Even though Shloime Mentch 21 has already reviewed the album I’d like to put my personal twist on it. Both of these reviews also appear on the reviews page (http://tinyurl.com/y42a).

This CD is true gold, to quote myself quoted by Shloime :). Every single song is gorgeous and it doesn’t have a single filler song. The top notch chasidishe stars in Israel are featured here. Mona is known for absolutely beautiful musical arrangements, which are evident in every song. The songs on this album are really what you can call chasidishe niggunum, full of warmth, simplicity, and yet creative originality. The kind of tape I have been longing for!!!

Songs composed by Mona unless otherwise noted.

A brief rundown with my comments on the 10 songs:

1. Melech. It’s a great song, very lebedig, but…. Ask yourselves this question: V’yeda Kol Pa’ul Ki Atah Polato, V’Yavun Kol Yetzur Ki Atah Yetzarta – to a fast beat? Hmmmm. The choirs are done by the “Philharmona” choir – which is probably under Mona’s leadership – and the choir of Yeshiva Shaarei Yosher. If I’m not mistaken, they also did the choir for MBD’s Kumzitz album.

MBD’s voice, as evidenced by his recent recordings, is not at its prime anymore. Both on the Kumzitz album and on this tape he seems to rely heavily on a choir to complement his voice. To be honest with you, I had heard this song on the Mitzad several times and did not know that it was MBD until it was pointed out to me! I thought it was Efraim Mendelson :) But still, MBD remains the King, and whatever he sings sounds good.

All in all it’s a lebedigeh song and I won’t be surprised if it becomes the next wedding hit.

It’s not my favorite song on the album so I’ll rate it only a 7.

2. Moriah. Undoubtedly the #1 hit on the album – this is THE song that made me buy the album. Fried made history by participating in someone else’s album for the first time ever! (Besides for some all star albums way back early in his career). The Philharmona and Shaarei Yosher choirs take part as well, and they have a really awesome sound together.

My only gripe on this song is that it is sung in havara sefaradit. I am having a tough time figuring out how to sing it to the Ashkenazi or chasidishe havara, and bcz of the havara, for instance, a lot of ppl who like chasidishe style tapes wouldn’t let this tape into their home – so I might just transfer the other songs onto cassette for my parents, for instance, and skip this one, which is a pity, cuz it’s so beautiful.

Now down to the beauty of this song. It’s two pesukim slung together in one song: “Mi sh’ana L’Avraham Avinu b’har hamoriah, hu yaaneh eschem v’yishma kol tzakaschem bayom hazeh” and “Lama nikrah shmo moriah? Al shem hamor hatov sheyeshno sham.” Can someone please explain what “hamor hatov” means? I’m not so fluent in Loshon Kodesh.

The Lama lama ma is sooo quintessential Mona, and really defines the song. Avraham Fried’s rich, sweet, soprano voice imbued with strong feeling and heart, really makes this song a tear jerker, I cannot tire of it.

Like some of his other “Hebrew” songs, Fried sings this with a mix of Ashkenazi and sefardi – Tzaakaschem instead of tzaakatchem, which makes it slightly more haimish for me ;).

The shtick of stopping and restarting the song on a higher note adds a lot to the song, and as I said, the choir is absolutely stunning. As Shloime said, there’s applauding at the end, sort of the capping off of a successful kumzitz.

This song definitely gets an 11.

3. Moshe Rabbeini. This is my second favorite song on the album. The tune is extremely catchy and Lipa puts his unique flavor and spin with his inimitable lyrics – like moireh, toirah, schoirah, oirah and klaina, faina, shaina, raina… (small, fine, nice, clean) You were correct Shloime, it’s about Moshe Rabbeinu’s life – first about his birth, his time spent in the water, Basya rescuing him, how he fights Pharaoh, and it ends with a plea that Moshe Rabbeini come back and lead us once again. A fabulous song.

I rate it a 10.

4. L’hisaneg. Great, great song! Some of the finest voices in Eretz Yisroel sing in what I would classify as a “fun” song. The song is the entire Mah Yedidus, with the emphasis on the chorus, L’hisaneg. When I heard Dudi Hertz, I was so bowled over – he totally reminds me of Amit Listvand! What a totally underrated child soloist (in the US… he’s big in Israel). He even reminds me of Srulik Hershtik. Shloime Cohen chimes in with the end high part which slows down – I am a huge fan of Shloime Cohen, so putting him in the same song as Dudi makes for a very cute soprano team. Avremi Roth does the deep parts of the song with his deep voice. I have never really heard him sing, but I know that he is big in Israel, so it was a delight to hear him finally. This song is very typical Mona, in his chasidishe style. I think I even heard him in the choir and he has a small solo – I’d love to hear more of him on the tape – too bad. I like this song very much.

I rate it a 9.

5. Mekimi. Beautiful, gorgeous slow song, composed by Efraim Rosenblum. WOW! So talent runs in the family, apparently. This song features two of Mona’s sons, Efraim and Avi Rosenblum, as well as MBD. I imagine that Efraim is the older one, and he starts off the song. Very haunting, lilting melody. Definitely one of my favorites on the tape (then again every song is gorgeous). I like Efraim’s Israeli “reish” :). Avi’s voice isn’t anything spectacular, but he manages to hold his own pretty well and the two brothers sound great together. As Shloime said, MBD sounds way better on this song than on Melech, and he does do a nice solo on his own. I wouldn’t say that his voice is like 10 years ago – it’s definitely weaker – but he makes up for it with his MBD-style voice kvetches and true MBD heartzigkait, which he proves in the slow songs he sings. This is a very well-rounded and heartzige song.

I rate it an 8.5

6. Vesiguleh. Great, classic Mona, lebedig chasidishe niggun, sung in the chasidishe havarah. I won’t be surprised if this is the next wedding hit. I love the combination of Shloime Daskal and Efraim Mendelson, two voices who need to be heard more often. Shloimy does a knockout job on this one, and Efraim once again manages to sound like MBD :) – but it was extremely refreshing to hear his voice. Maybe HE sounds like MBD sounded 10 years ago ;-). I was mamish bouncing in my chair to this song. Real good stuff.

Gotta rate it a 9.

7. Retzoncho. This was composed by “A. Fried.” I wonder which A. Fried??? The words are: ????? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ????! ????? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ??????. There is no source noted. I’ve never heard these words before. This features two of the sweetest voices in JM in Israel: Dudi Hertz and Shloime Cohen. I absolutely love the sound of these two complementing each other. Dudi sounds completely like Amit Listvand on this song and he puts all his heart into it. I wonder how long Dudi’s voice will still be so beautiful and strong – he seems to be over 13 already. Shlomo does a small part at the end of the song, and boy does he tug at your heartstrings. The Philharmona choir, which I assume is under Mona’s leadership, is really beautiful. Shloime and Dudi sing a couple of small parts together which are really nice. This song gets another 10.

8. Waltz Efraim. This is a waltz niggun which Efraim Rosenblum composed, and is sung by the Philharmona Choir and Efraim Rosenblum. It’s a typical waltz niggun, as niggunim go, but a nice refreshing break from a couple of really intense songs. It slows down and speeds up and provides you with a nice pleasant roller coaster ride, with lots of bum-bum-bums tee-ra-ra-rums. Rate it a 7.5.

9. V’anachni Korim. This was composed by JJ Fried. It’s a conglomeration of all of the chasidishe songs you’ve heard in your life, but I like the way the Philharmona choir gives it that unique Israeli Chasidish flavor. The intro is a bit keyboard/techno style, which I like. The soloists are Ahrele Samet and Shloime Cohen. Shlomo also does harmony to Ahrele’s strong melody. I rate it a 7.5.

10. Adon Haslichos. Now this is truly one weird track, and an even weirder way to end the tape. This is totally not the kind of song you would find on a Mona CD, but I find it endlessly amusing. It’s sung by Harav Dovid Nadav Shlita, and the Philharmona choir. It’s supposedly a traditional medley. Do you any of you know the Hamsa boy’s song “Ana HaShem Hoshea Na?” Well they have an interlude that goes “Hodu LaSHem Ki tov, Ki L’Olam Chasdo.” It’s the same tune! Fancy Mona having the same tune as the Hamsa boys on his album. The words here start with “Adon Haslichot, Bochen Levavot, Goleh Amukot, Dover Tzedakot” and the choir answers a chorus in a very strange, high pitched, sefardi style. This is truly one puzzling track to me. Who is this Rabbi Nadav? He sings in true sefardi style, but uses the American “R” instead of the Israeli, Sfardi, or yeshivish “Reish”. What a mix. This song is one pumped up, fast-paced, screechy Sefadi number. At 1:40 into the song, it gets beyond weird. They sing chazanus for Kol Nidrei in a high pitched screaming voice, with calypso beats in the background. Can you beat that? This whole perplexing song just gets funnier and more amusing by the minute, as the choir suddenly assumes a deep baritone and sings along with the Middle Eastern drums and ululating instruments. Mona does a short solo as well. Then you hear Rabbi Nadav sing “El Norah V’Alila” and the choir answers something to it. EL? What happened to Kel? This whole premise is so strange – serious Selichos and Kol Nidrei songs set to Latin and Middle Eastern beats? This is totally unexpected, coming from such a toned-down, sweet chasidishe-niggun album. I’m telling you, I don’t remember when I last enjoyed a song so much; it’s very comical.

But aside for the comic relief, the song is done with very high quality, full of creativity and good spirit. It ends very abruptly and you’re left reeling, wondering where all those screaming sfardis disappeared to. I rate it a 9 simply because it’s so funny.

Total rating on the album: 85.5/100

If Shloime’s and my reviews, haven’t convinced you, I don’t know if you’ll ever be convinced :).

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