Hey everyone! Hope you haven’t forgotten me!
Since my last reviewing “binge” it’s been a while but I’m back with a new review! Today I’ll be reviewing the latest album from The Shira Chadasha Boys Choir conducted by R’ Nachman Seltzer. R’ Nachman constantly shows us that a speaker and author can not only run a choir, but can make time to produce amazing albums with said choir! I’m going to jump right in – Here goes:
1. Am Yisrael – For those of you who stay on top of the latest Jewish Music Videos this is one of the most recent. The title track of this album “Am Yisrael” is composed by Moshe Fuchs and features a great arrangement by R’ Yitzy Berry. The sefardit ha’avarah gives the song a genuine Israeli feel. This song is one in many recent hits which I refer to as “anthem” songs. These songs typically have lyrics that support a powerful chorus spreading an important message. Recent “anthem” songs include “Yesh Tikva, “Am Echad” “Am Yisrael (Shwekey)” among others.
2. Kel Adon – Although many albums will feature a slow song after a faster one R’ Nachman keeps you moving with “Kel Adon”, the next composition on the album. This song has a great acoustic/rock feel to it. I especially like the breakdown at 2:36 leading back into the full band and saxophone solo.
3. Henay – Although we’ve reached the first ballad on the album, this song’s tempo is still a bit quicker than your everyday average ballad. This track was arranged by Yehuda David.
4. Yiboneh – Now that you’ve taken a break with a more toned-down song it’s time to get back in the dancing mood! This song was composed by R’ Nachman as well as Yehuda David (The arranger of “Henay”)
5. Menucha – Here’s another ballad using the words of the Shabbos Zemer. You may find yourself singing this one at your Shabbos table after you get this album.
6. Gam Ki Eilech – Here’s another fast paced track. I know of a number of people who after buying a new album, start by only listening to the fast songs. For those people, you may be pleasantly surprised with how many songs you will end up listening to the first time around.
7. Avi Avi – According to the CD booklet, this song was written and composed by the wife of a close talmid of Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel ZT”L the late Rosh Yeshiva of Mir. Those of you who heard the song “Hadran” know that R’ Nachman felt a close connection to the Rosh Hayeshiva. I find this song to have the same power that I felt when listening to “Hadran”. Arranged by David Epstein, the music definitely showcases the feelings displayed in the song.
8. Yishoriru – Following the last song this one is also arranged by David Epstein. David makes this song sound very unique with his interesting arrangements.
9. Chasal – Although I can’t say for sure since I don’t know who they are personally, it seems that the composer/arranger duo on this next song is related (maybe father/son?). This is a gorgeous slow song
10, Vhi Sheumda – Following the previous Pesach-themed song is this one. Composed by R’ Nachman and arranged by David Epstein, this is not your typical ballad-style Vehi Sheomda. David Epstein once again shows us how diverse a song can be.
11. Zochreinu – I believe there is a great appreciate for English songs these days. I find this is because many people do not understand or connect to the typical Pesukim made into songs. R’ Nachman has a history of giving us some really great meaningful English songs. This song was composed and written by him. This track also features the vocals of none other than R’ Simcha Sussman, the frontman of Shalsheles. R’ Simcha’s vocals definitely add to this track and the harmonies with R’ Nachman are tastefully done and sound amazing. The choir on this song reminds me of some of the choir work done on “Visions”.
12. Am Yisroel – As a bonus this album also features the title track in English. I think many native English speakers will appreciate this.
All in all whether you’re a long-time Shira Chadasha fan, or whether you saw their recent music video and thought “Hey, they’re pretty good!” this is definitely an album that you’ll be happy purchasing. Featuring songs that will get you dancing as well as songs that you’ll be able to “feel”, this is definitely one of the best Shira Chadasha albums I’ve heard…..at least until the next one!
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