SPLASHNEWS- Review of Yaakov Shwekey, “Cry No More”

SPLASHNEWS- To describe the album in one word, “classy”. I must say that I am very impressed by this new album. Wheather it’s the songs, the musical arrangements, the vocals, and even the album jacket, this is a classy Yochi Briskman/Yaakov Shwekey production. One main reason that this album scores high on my chart is because Shwekey moved away from the typical and joined us in 2012. He has in particular, two songs whose styles have not been heard on any previous Shwekey album. Which ones? You will have to read the review for that! Here in Eretz Yisroel, the album has not yet hit the stores but people can already be seen crowding into music stores to listen to the album which is already playing over the store’s speakers. Many of the songs were arranged by Yanky Briskman who is extremely talented and is quickly making a name for himself. The music is by The Yochi Briskman Orchestra.  Here is a look at the songs on the album.

1-Kdai- The album starts off with an exciting intro and is a great lead up, not only to the song, but to the entire album. The song is sure to be a popular chasunah second dance song. Shwekey reaches his climax in the song at 3:08 where he harmonizes himself and really sound great. This song also reminds me a little of Viohavta from Shwekey 5. Composed by Yitzy Waldner.  4 1/2 out of 5 stars

2-Batuach Ani- Composed by Elimelech Blumstein, this is a very nice song and more of a typical Shwekey song. Beautiful words. 3 out of 5 stars

3-Lo Yaavod– Here is the first song of a different style than what we are used to from Yaakov. In a bold move, the song which is arranged by Jeff Horvitch, features “Metalish” which is a heavy metal guitar group. The song starts off with the heavy metal and has a few Metalish interludes. It is a very energizing song and you can just amagine yourself at a Shwekey concert with the crowd rocking away with this song. Especially at 2:52 and at 3:36 with the heavy interlude and then the clapping. Composed by Yossi Muller. Every album has “that” song and this just might be it. 5 out of 5 stars

4-Mi Bon Siach- I know many of you will say “another mi bon siach!?” The truth is that it’s still a nice song and will probably be used at many simcha’s. It also sounds  more up do date so don’t just skip it! Arranged by Moshe Laufer. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

5-Hinei Anochi- The intro starts off with the Shira Chadasha Boys Choir from Ramat Beit Shemesh. A fast song that says Shwekey all over it. Composed and arranged by Moshe Laufer. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

6-Oleinu- This is a gorgeous slow song and touches me especially because a few years ago I realized that Oleinu is the most overlooked Tefilah and decided to make this very important Tefilah into “my” Tefilah. This is sure to become a popular song as it is beautiful and also very easy to sing which is always very important. As I listened to it for the first time I was thimking that it would make a great acapella song. Sure enough the song finishes off in acapella! Composed by Ezi Reissman. 5 out of 5 stars

7-Rabi Nehorai- A very catchy song composed by Yitzy Waldner & Elie Schwab. Arranged by Ruvi Banet & Yanky Briskman. It includes a bridge that  has a sefardi taste to it at 1:46 although the song isn’t sefardi at all. The ending is like this as well. By the way, as I write this I just realized that there aren’t any sefardi songs on the album. I guess after Libi Bamizrach he thought we had enough of that! 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

8-Yesimcho- The song starts off sounding like one of those baby lullabie machines that go on top of cribs. The song nevertheless is a beautiful song and features Menachem Shwekey at 3:24. Yeh, that’s his son. It also has the potential to become a camp alma mater. Arranged by Yisroel Lamm and composed by Yitzchok Rosenthal of Shalsheles. The low part sound more like a Shalsheles song than the high part. The song ends with Yaakov reaching the highest note that I have ever heard him sing. He may have used auto-tune so I’ll have to wait to see if he can do that live! 4 out of 5 stars

9-Retzoneini- He may have left out the sefardi song but not the chassidishe one. This geshmake chassidishe style song is sure to enhance many simchos. Composed by Pinky Weber. 4 out of 5 stars

10-CRY NO MORE- This is the title track and the second song in a style that we haven’t seen from Shwekey. As soon as I saw the name Ken Burgess,who wrote the lyrics, I got excited. I just love his stuff. A lot of his stuff sounds eerie but very moving. Yanky Briskman did a great job on the arrangements keeping the Ken Burgess feel. Each part of the song is enhanced by added music. The second low brings the guitar line. The third low starting with the musical interlude features a beat using brush drumsticks which gives more of an orchestra sound. The last highs have more of an electric drum beat. Although this sound like an overly-arranged song, it is far from it. The music never once outshines the voice and it perfectlyenhances the song. Composed by Yaakov together with Yitzy Waldner, who did the backup vocals as well. 5 out of 5 stars

Overall I give rate this album 5 out of 5 stars which means you should already be on the road to the closest music store!

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