Yeshiva Boys Choir 2
Album can be previewed/purchased at Mostly Music
Ok, it needs to be done. This is like the most controversial album of the year; serious business. So, I'll try to do my best.
Please share your thoughts on my review, because however much I might know about music in general and Jewish music in particular, these views are clearly not black and white. On to the songs:
So, in accordance with all of Eli's albums, this song is an insta-hit. It's a bit different than most of his other ones, e.g. Lecha Dodi, Kol Hamispallel, because it's not really a fast song in the conventional sense. It starts off rather slow with muted guitar, and then a single soloist singing the high part, "v'ohavto..." Then other singers join him and Eli tosses in the flute, which is pretty cool. The harmonies throughout the rest of the song are great, and there's one really nice modulation. My only complaint is that the song gets a bit repetitive. Still a solid song.
2. Bar Hey Hey
Eli then goes the Yosis/Hinei route and has the 'boys sing another fast song. This middle eastern style song took a while to get used to. I now, finally, appreciate the amazing instrumentals throughout the song. Points also for originality. I mean, these aren't exactly your standard words to a song. Anyway, the three parts to the song, "Amar ley Bar Hey Hey l'Hillel," "Hai 'l'himanos,' l'himalos, mi'ba'ey ley," "Elah ze she'manuhu chaverav l'dvar mitzvah, v'hu lo nimnah imahem," all sound essentially the same musically. The only chiddush comes afterwards when the children sing a series of "ooh, oyoyoys," a la Malochim from the first album. I really like the end when they go way up high for a final "Bar Hey Hey."
3. Kol Hashem
So, I really like slow songs. The feeling and the meaning of most of these songs sustain me through difficult times, and are always good for shedding tears. But I just don't get this song. I mean, it's not a bad song, but I've come to expect a lot from Mr. Gerstner. There's relatively little goinng on musically, and the tune is largely uninteresting. There's just lots of "Kol Hashem"s. Since I don't
really have anything nice to say, I won't.
So this is a cute little song. I wouldn't call it a great song, but it's a nice change after slow song 3, which I don't really believe exists. This is actually the definition of a happy song, following such Gerstner greats as Yismichu, from V'ishei Yisroel, and V'al Kein, from YBC1. It's lively, has nice music, and "bum-dum-bada-badas," so it follows all the guidelines for a happy song.
5. Mi Adir
Sadly, yes, it pains me to say it, but I like the new MBC Mi Adir better. This one might sound more original, but still. Eli's killing me with these slow songs, but it's not really that bad. I'm just a perfectionist. This is when Eli makes his signature appearance, just
like in V'hu K'Chosson from YBC1, and Avinu from Menucha, and Odcha from Chevra 2. His singing is definitely the highlight of this song; he sings with such feeling and so softly that he almost sounds like a child himself.
Now, I've never heard music put to these words, and I happen to like these words very much, so we'll give Eli points for that. So this is really the first electricized song on the album, and frankly, it's about time. While I don't think this is a great song either, I like when Eli technos it up. He also uses some interesting rhythms.
Eli, you've worked yourself back into my good graces. Now THIS is a song I can listen to over and over again and forget to eat and drink, and go to daven, and make phone calls...So, essentially, I love this song. Each time I hear "Adiiiiir" and the high "Hashem l'orec yamim," my heart breaks. This is just one of those slow songs that I never get tired of. Well done, Eli, kudos.
I like this song too. It's not super, but it's also pretty original. The tune is very cute and the words are ones I've never seen before in a song. The rhythm is also really interesting, especially the last time around the song when they sing the high part, "Z'chor rachamecha..."
So this is a classic case where something gets way too hyped up and then you're expecting something fantastic, and then it disappoints.
From what many of you wrote in the forums, this song was supposed to be a real hit. Eh, it's not so much my style. However, it is, once again, quite original. The words certainly are not original, but putting "Yivorechecho Hashem Viyishmerecha" together with "Hinei lo yonum v'lo yishon shomer Yisroel," is sheer brilliance. I dunno, I guess I just expected something great to happen in this song, but it never did. Still pretty good though.
10. Al Yisroel Shalom
Once again, Eli has come up with another original song. This one I really really like. I imagine if they had frum clubs in the city they would play songs like this one. The instrumentals are great, and the synthsizers go nuts. I like the modulation at the end also. I seriously have "Mi'smol umiyamin al Yisroel Shalom" in my head all the time now. A nice way to end the album, just like Tehilas Hashem was for YBC1.
So there you have it. I'll grant you all mechila when you say things
to me that you don't really mean.