HILLELKAPS – Review of Shloime Gertner “Imagine”

Review of “Imagine”














I’ve really been hitting the CD’s lately so after my recent Shalsheles review here comes another one! This review is of Shloime Gertner’s latest album “Imagine”. I’ve been a fan of Shloime’s since his earliest work and I really feel that his albums just get better and better. I still myself constantly listening to “V’hiskin” (his last album) over and over. This latest album bring something different to the table compared to his other albums, this album seems to feature many English songs contrary to the one or 2 you’ll find on other albums. I really commend Shloime and Gershy Moskowitz (the album’s producer) for going this direction since I firmly believe that in the typical Jewish song no one pays attention to the words of the song itself because of the language barrier. Not everyone knows enough Hebrew (or Yiddish) to understand the message the song is giving and this can really take an amazing song and turn it into a sub-par production. This album with a a number of English songs will be something that is understood somewhat universally. Lets get on with the review!

1.Better Place – Right after finishing up my Shalsheles review I love that the first track is composed by none other than Yitzchok Rosenthal. I already love the acoustic rock feel of the song before even getting to the lyrics. This song is about how the world can be a “Better Place” if we all realize that we can all get past our differences and get along. I think in our current musical generation where there tend to be many songs about singing together as one, or all different types of Jews getting along and coming together as one, I like hearing an English song that goes more into depth rather than just singing over a Posuk that speaks about togetherness (which may or may not spread that message to those not as familiar with the words themselves). The arrangement is fresh and the English accent is awesome.

2.Moshiach Magia – This song was composed Yitzchak Fuchs. Yitzchak who brought us songs like “Lashem Ha’artz” and “Hallilu” brings us another gem.

3.Sim Shalom – Sim Shalom is a gorgeous Ballad that Shloime’s voice really shines on. This song was co composed by both Shloime and Tomer Adaddi.

4.Tantz – We’ll be getting to some more English songs shortly. This next track features an electronic arrangement. I definitely like the groove of the song.

5.Hear My Prayer – This song was written by Yitzy Waldner. I was wondering how many songs in it would take to hear one of his compositions. Yitzy has a reputation for songs that come from the heart and this one is no different. This is a song encouraging one to daven even after they’ve been run through the mill (so-to-speak) since the davening will always be heard by Hashem.

6.Am Hashem – This next track is a Pinky Weber composition. I don’t have too much to say about this track specifically but I will point out that one of the things that gives this album its flavor is that much of the music work was done in London. This means that people instead of the typical American and Israeli musicians,arrangers, etc. Shloime and Gershy decided to keep it closer to home (Shloime is from the UK for those who don’t know) I think this makes this album sound very different from the typical Jewish album being released.

7.Keili Keili – Again after my review of the new Shalsheles album it seems that Dudi Kalish has also been quite busy between the arranging he did for Shalsheles as well as this song which he both composed and arranged for this album. This is also a gorgeous track.

8.Beleiv Echad – This next song was composed by both Eli Laufer and Dudi Kalish. Its got a very funky electronic arrangement.

9.Shema Yisroel – Apparently Dudi Kalish is even busier than I originally thought. This track is also composed by him. This track also features musician Avi Singolda on guitar.

10.Song Of Moshiach – This song is filled with Mullarky. Not “malarky”, but “Mullarky” as it includes Acoustic and Electric guitars by Rob Mullarky.(I apologize for that pun, I couldn’t help myself) This is also a composition by Motti Illowitz. This is another one of the english tracks on this album.

11.Imagine – I was privileged to hear a sample of this song by the composer Yossi Green himself way before the album came out so I’ve been looking very forward to this track for quite some time. I wasn’t disappointed at all. It’s very different from the typical English songs we’ve heard on mainstream albums. Both the arrangement and the composition itself are somewhat different.
All in all for those Gertner fans who have been waiting patiently for their next dose of Shloime Gertner, your wait is finally over! This is definitely an album to add to your collection.  For those not familiar with Gertner’s work, I would suggest getting Nissim (his first album) and making your way through his first 3 albums and then getting this one.

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