Album can be previewed/purchased at Mostly Music
Ok, I'm on a reviewing roll, so let's dive right in and get this train wreck rolling. Just to start off, it's been quite a while since B'Derech HaTorah, and this album is probably good enough to be worth
Needless to say, this is a great song to get us started. As has been done before, this song shouts, "hey, remember us? We're back." It has a very catchy beat. Usually I like it when just the kids sing, but Yerachmiel does a good job of mixing in the adult choir, and, inevitably, himself. I especially like the transitions from the low part to the high part, "l'am l'am l'am sigulah." Those soloists are fantastic.
So we're once again breaking the mold by not having a fast song second. But, then again, Miami Boys haven't had a slow song second for as long as I can remember. But this one is not your typical second song, nor is it a typical Miami Boys song. Yerachmiel finally decides to branch out and do a middle eastern type song. It must be a hora, because they tell us so in the song itself. Granted the words aren't so original, but they're sung in an original way, so points for that. Once again the soloists are really excellent, I think one of them is even sfardi. This is a great song.
3. Mi Adir
So it's tough to keep coming out with good Mi Adirs because just about every album these days has at least one of them, and sometimes a Mi Bon Siach or two. I wouldn't exactly call this song special, but it's definitely very solid. Pretty much your standard Jewish slow song, and I like slow songs, so we're good. I dunno how Yerachmiel does it, but this must really be a special group of kids because the soloists are really unbelievable. There's a great part at the end when the entire choir sings together, acapella in unison, followed by a soloist and a final "Mazal Tov" again in unison.
This is an interesting one. It starts off with a very fast instrumental, and then the adult choir comes in. They sing the low
part, and then Yerachmiel comes in with the high part. This is a very
fast song, actually sung in a minor key, so it's really quite interesting. This is a great song for jogging and lifting weights or
something. It really gets you pumped.
So, all of a sudden Yerachmiel has taken a liking to telling stories with his songs. Remember "Lo BaRuach Hashem" from the last album? Well, this song is very similar. He basically takes the text straight from the Gemara and puts a tune to it. It's really quite clever. The low/slow part gives the background story or Rebbe Akiva's students,
and the high/fast part is just "V'ahavta l'reyacha kamocka," another saying of Rebbe Akiva. The slow part is actually really nice, and the
fast part is pretty cute.
I really like this song. It starts off with the high part sung a capella. This song, while not exactly as fast as Ribono, still gets you pumped. And again, the soloists are fabulous. These are more original words from Yerachmiel, but they are really great, "Yafeh sho'oh achas biTeshuvah uv'maasim tovim ba'olam hazeh mikol chayei olam haboh. Yafeh sho'oh achas shel koras ruach ba'olam haboh mikol chayei olam hazeh." Very nice.
This is another really good one. Another one to get you pumped. The instrumentals are really good, and, of course, the soloists get the job done once again. I also really noticed the harmonies in this song. The rhythm and the tune are fun and catchy. This'll have you dancing right away.
8. Lift Up Your Candle
Just as a word of explanation, I've yet to hear an english Jewish song
that I really liked. Some are better than others, but they just don't do it for me.
This is another solid song. Even though these are very familiar words, the tune makes the song a lot of fun. I especially like the middle part, "Yachad kulam hodu, yachad, yachad." And I just can't say enough about the soloists. A huge yishar kochachem to them.
So, I'm under the impression that there's really only one good tune to Mimkomcha from Kedusha. And if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I feel like this tune is too similar to the standard Carlebach one that it's
almost a cheap parody. I wouldn't call it a bad song, I just think that you need to do it entirely differently than it has already been done.
Umm, I hate when people try to sing with a chassidishe twist. I mean,
I like chassidim, and they do great things for Judaism, but they pronounce hebrew just plain wrong. That's not to say that the rest of
us do pronounce it properly, but at least it doesn't sound strange when it gets sung. The tune isn't bad. If you want to compare it to any song, just listen to Yiree from Shwekey 3 and you'll get a good idea of what this song is about.
Back in Chol HaMoed Sukkot this year I was zocheh to attend the Miami
concert at the Nassau Coliseum. When the Boys first came out, the song they sang was this song. And, believe it or not, the first thing I did when I got home was to check out whether it was a really old song or a new one. So when the new album came out, I checked right away to see if the song was on it, and sure enough it was. It has a very catchy tune, and it's a great way to end this really excellent album. The soloists are super.
Umm, get it. I mean, come on, 12 songs? You get more bang for your buck than the average album, and the songs are terrific.