LIPA IS BACK!!!
by: Dave Sharpner
Hi there. Its so nice to be back on this wonderful site once again. Another years gone by. And yes, it’s that time of year again. Chanukah has arrived. That means of course spinning dreidles, colorful candles, piping hot oily latkes, freshly baked sufganiyot, and most importantly new music!
Now, during all of this time we Lipazians (die hard Lipa fans) are of course still listening over and over again, day in and day out, to Lipa’s latest hit album Leap Of Faith. We listen, again.. and again…and yet again. We are deeply absorbing and enjoying it more and more each time around. And as we listen, we await anxiously for the next hit album to surface from the depths. And surely enough, surface it has!
And so it is, that this incredible news has me and hundreds of thousands of others like me dashing breathlessly out of our houses, stampeding the local Judaica stores, trying to hopefully get lucky, and still grab a last copy that’s lying around on the shelf somewhere. And so it was -luckily for me- upon arriving, I see there’s two copies still left. Cd in hand, I immediately dash out of the store, pop the thing in the nearest cd player…and.. let the action begin!
At this point I gotta admit that I’m kinda curious what Lipa’s been up to in the studio all this time. I mean after all every one knows that when Lipa hits up the studio -even for a short period of time- something amazing and unique will always emerge.
Final Advisory: Before we get started, find yourself a seat. Sit down. Dim the lights. Turn up the volume. And listen. Really listen. Allow yourself to be completely immersed now in the experience.
Starts with a bang. Literally. Your’e gonna think someone is banging at your door. But not to worry. Its just the beat starting up on track 1 off Lipa’s new album (of course). As the beat builds up we get Lipa come on full force singing the low part which immediately follows with the smashing high part. NODEH NODEH NODEH!! Wow! The music is really good! This is the epitome of a jewish wedding song. Its got a slightly repetive and easily singable melody. Of course the hammering beat really helps to push this song into the stratosphere. But its the way Lipa sings this that will ultimately have people spinning and flying to this song on dance floors around the world.
So, what are you waiting for? Cmo’n! Get out those dance shoes.. crank it up a few notches.. and let your self go! (4.5 stars out of 5)
This is a very upbeat and slightly giddy song. We can hear Lipa smiling with joy as he sings it. In fact as I’m listening to this now I’m almost half expecting an angel to walk up behind me, tap me on the shoulder and tell me what a great song this is! ” Oh Theres an angel on the way!Yeh. There are angels everywhere. You just gotta find them everyday.” One thing I really love is how he contrasts the hebrew lyrics with the English on this Jazzy happy go lucky song. (4 stars out of 5)
Track3. Kaf al kaf
This is my favorite fast song on the album. By far. Its got so many cool parts to it! I absolutely can’t get enough of this track. Literally. I have this thing on repeat now the whole day. The song is an Israeli style song. Its got a Israeli choir (kinderlach). And of course Lipa sings this in a Israeli havarah. The lyrics from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov are about coming together hand in hand and returning to our holy land.
This song has got LIPA written all over it and is original in every way.
The digitized music is so cool and strange at the same time. After he starts off singing the second part of high part (yeh, there’s a lot of parts) with Kinderlach singing the first part of the high part “KAF! KAF! KAF AL KAF!!!” he breaks into a cool chant something like “Tchibidooba dum bom bum bum Tchibidoobadoo” The song goes on with Lipa singing the beautiful verse. And then The high part goes back and forth between Lipa and the Kinderlach once again. At 3:15 the music segues into Lipa making (or singing rather) a digital anouncement. “I’m hashem lo Yishmor Shuv cad Shomer shmor es Yirushalayim.” and the song stops. You think its over. And then Lipa says his “Shoobydoobydoo” (or whatever he’s saying) thing once again. and its back to the Kinderlach singing “KAF! KAF! KAF AL KAF!!” joined in by Lipa. And the song closes. In short this song defines the word awesome! (7.5 out of 5 stars)
Track4. Yegiah kapecha
Wer’e beginning to get serious here. This slow ballad is the kind of song that really tugs at your heart strings. Its message is all about seeing the fruits of our labor and all of the love that we have instilled in our kids. Our Nachas if you will. Its a very deep and touching song. (4 stars out of 5)
Track 5. Adon kol hasimcha
This lively song starts off with a YBC choir sounding low part. You just gotta love the way Lipa sings the words “ahh…DOOOOOOIIIIIIN KOL HASIMCHA!” It’s just plain awesome!!! This is a more typical sounding dance track. But its loaded with LIPA energy throughout. I really love that electric guitar work at 1:30. Big shout out to Ruvi Banet over here who it says in the booklet did the music on this one. The music in general by the way reminds me very strongly of MBD’s TUMID BSIMCHA album. Not sure exactly why. But there’s something very similliar going on in the chords here. Anyways In the end I think its the electric guitars and Lipa’s unbridled energy that really take this song into a whole different league of music.
(4 stars out of 5 )
Track6. Dos pintele yid
This is the song about our inner essence. That tiny fire that burns on always deep inside. The spark that never dies out.
The song it self is short and simple.
It gets to the inner depth beyond all the external trappings. This is the song where Lipa really speaks to us all directly and emotionally. The song goes back and forth between Lipa and the stunning choir. The track builds up to a crescendo with Lipa completely losing himself in it. If your’e looking for real inspiration this is the track for you.
(5 stars out of 5)
Track7. Ohev shalom
Where do I even begin with this song? The ENERGY.. EXCITEMIENT.. MESSAGE.. PURE JOY.. Gosh. There’s a lot to say about this song. Anyways, we will try. Here goes.. The music starts off with a few keys playing a little melody on the keyboard. Immediately afterwards the electronic beat starts up. The intro begins with the choir singing the low part “HEVAY HEVAY HEVAY” The choir sounds really really great by the way!! They really sound like their excited to be singing along on this project. (Well, hay,who wouldn’t be)? Anyways,Then Lipa comes on.. and I gotta say…”WOW!” This is why LIPA will always be ina class of his own! The positive enegy and crazy exciting happy vibes in his voice are just insane! Really, you can practically hear him jumping around in the studio and swaying back and forth intensely if you listen closely…
Then the high part. “OHEV SHALOM VIRODEF SHULOM!” with Lipa harmonizing himself in the background and finally the smashing “OHEV ES HABRIYOS WOOwooWOOww..” 3rd part and outro ( or sort of bridge if you will).
Now this is one INSANELY arranged song! Every single part just fits together and interlocks one part into another..like a glove. This song is such a delight to listen to that it’s kind of a unreal surprise. You really gotta ask yourself when was the last time you heard a such a smashingly (is that even a word?) great song like this anywhere. In fact I think I’m gonna listen to this a few more times before I continue with this review. So hang in there…
(6.5 stars out of 5)
Track 8. Ata kidashta
This beautiful song from the Friday night prayers is a simple and uplifting melody which is dedicated to all of the amazing and inspiring members of the airmont shul.
The music itself is fairly typical of the jewish music sound we have come to know over the last few decades. (drums and a lot of horns) That is a good thing in this song. As the main thing in this song is the singing and not the music.
This will surely become a beautiful sta ple for the zemiros in houses everywhere. One last thing that really hit me was the amazing final bridge-niggun Lipa adds in at 4:30 which really does a lot for the song.
(4.5 stars out of 5)
Track 9. Where is your beard
This is the song. Every Lipa album has that trademark original song which only Lipa has. These tounge twisting lyrics will have you plotzing in your seat trying to sing them! “Boord boord vee iz dyneh yid?!”
Interestingly enough, despite the obviously humorous qualities of this song, there is actually a very deep message underneath. The lyrics are based on a story (the version I heard at least) with the Satmar Rebbe and Mike Tress. When another man asked Mike Tress “Yid. Where is your beard?” the Rebbe explained that sometimes its the other way. “Hashem will say “beard where is your yid?” point being, don’t judge a yid by his beard as outside appearances are not necessarily the same as what’s inside. Deep.
Anyways back to the song. The song itself has a very strong Middle Eastern flavor. The first part goes “Al Tistakel Bikankan. Don’t judge a book by its cover.” which sets the stage for the explosive second part “YID YID VEE DYN BOORD. BOORD BOORD VEE DYN YID…” Then at 3 minutes in he tells a little story about Rabeinu Yoel, hayseh Chasidim, the previous skvere Rebbe, and something about a beard (obviously). And its back to the high energy tounge twisting “beard-yid-yid beard” high part again. After singing this song by the way I’d suggest you take a little rest. (5 out of 5 stars)
Track10. I’m with you
This song is in short the most powerful slow song to possibly ever be released on any album.Seriously. This song should really be called a chizik song. But I would dare to venture further. I will venture to call this a therapy song. The effect of this song goes beyond mere inspiration. Way way way beyond. Yes. Chizuk it is. But its much deeper than that. So so so much deeper.
This is a song coming from Lipa’s deepest insides. Lipa has said once in a interview that he would like to one day write a autobiography of his entire life story. Well truth is that now (after releasing this song) there is no need for that. if you listen closely to this song you will see that its all there. Listen to all the lyrics. Lipa’s entire life story can be found in this song. No matter what he or you have gone through hashem is always with you.
There is nobody in the music field doing songs like this. Nobody. There is no one I beleive that can sing like this. Its raw. Its unscripted.Its real. And its unreal at the same time. In short this I beleive is what real therapy attempts to acheive. A deep inner feeling of communication to the soul. There really is no way to even describe this song. Its that powerful.
(7 stars out of 5)
Track 11: Higiah zman
This is a fun celebration song. Lipa is clearly in really good spirits as he sings this. It starts off some what slower and suddenly becomes a very fast moving track. And you will probably find yourself in a different part of the house then where you started listening to this song. And if your’e in a car..well maybe better don’t go driving with this song on…
(4.5 stars out of 5)
Track 12. Vinikdashti
This a very spiritual track. The Yiddish lyrics are all written by Lipa. This is Lipa caught up in a very personal moment of deep connection to the one above. It’s so personal in fact that you almost feel intrusive listening in. Lipa is speaking to Hashem about becoming a holier and better person. Something we can all benefit from listening to. So turn it up a bit and listen in. Listen in to the conversation from one deep soul to its maker. It will change you like nothing else will.
(5 stars out of 5)
Track 13. Vihaya Biacharis Hayamin
This track is a story. It’s the uplifting story of our future. In this track Lipa tells of how we will go up on to the mountain of Hashem when Moshiach comes and celebrate together. This is the perfect track to end off the album with it’s uplifting message of optimism for our future. May it come soon.
In summation, I know this was a long review, but truthfully, I haven’t even begun scratching the surface. There is really so much to be said about this album that one can be overwhemed even finding where to start. That being said I think I have given you a small snippet of what I personally have taken from this album. As for the rest, I will leave it up to you to listen and take what you can. I beleive this album is one of the most unique and real quality albums to be released in Jewish music today. But dont take my word for it. Go out and see for your self. Grab a copy, and enjoy!