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Shalsheles V Review

by JMDerech October 10, 2010

Yitzchak Rosenthal is back with his expert compositions for Shalsheles V. Although the group remains intact, Simcha Sussman is now recording from Israel, his new home.

Shalsheles has always been known to be “bed time music.” It’s relaxing, refreshing and not in your face. Last album, they changed that style with Yufyafisa and Kel Hakavod and fans were eating it up. A.K.A. Pella made a remix of Yufyafisa not once, but twice (with the help of Shalsheles Jr). In this album, you’ll find songs like Ashrei Ish, Mi Chamocha and Me She’asah, which add a fresh, modern day feel that’s constantly missing in Jewish music.

As Jews, we live by our heritage. We keep it intact and pass the mesorah down from generation to generation. However, the style that is Jewish music is not a mesorah, it is music from 30 years ago. It’s just outdated music. Slowly, musicians are starting to realize that in order to appeal to the younger crowds, they need to change their music. By doing so, they are not breaking a mesorah, they are just breaking a bad habit of staying with outdated music. I’m glad to see that Shalsheles clearly notices that Jewish music is evolving and needs to. They have shown this by bringing in Aryeh Kunstler’s musical talents to the third song, Ashrei Ish. I hope more of the Jewish musicians follow in those footsteps and update their music as well. Shalsheles has managed to change the style of music to sound better, but not secular and electrified, like much of today’s contemporary secular music.

I heard a great line the other week. When I asked about the chol hamoed concerts in New York this year (not the boys choirs), and what the crowd was like there, I was told the following. “ All the concerts on Chol Hamoed were empty, I think people are starting to realize that it’s (concerts) not much more than a wedding without the shmorg!” It’s true. With the abuse of outdate music and horn instruments, which rightfully belong at a wedding to give it that special “wedding feel”, the concerts are just wedding that you have to pay to go to and you don’t get any food! As Jewish music evolves and the fan base grows, I think we will find that concerts will be a lot more exciting!

Once again, kudos to Shasheles for keeping Jewish music refreshing!

(Instead of giving you long, boring, detailed recaps of each song, I’ll give, what I thought were the positives and negatives of each song. I’ll let you decide the rest! :D)

Positives = “ +” signs. Negatives = “ -” Signs.

Baruch Habah

+ Great music on the intro, especially the keyboard behind the opening lyrics

+ Simcha Sussman sounds amazing, despite being in Israel

+ Good length for intro

- Would have liked some more high harmonies instead of choir harmonies


+ Classic Shalsheles intro and arrangement

+ Great refrain (low part), better chorus (high part)

+ Chaim Block’s high part towards the end

- Middle part leaves more to be desired

- Song fades out, which is outdated

- Classic Shalsheles intro and arrangement

Ashrei Ish

+ Aryeh Kunstler’s rock solid, contemporary arrangements

+ The way the choir sing “Emes” as they enter the chorus (high part)

+The composition is top notch. Think Kel Hakavod from the last album, but better

+Killer electric guitar strumming and solos… and no horn instruments (B’H)

+ Eerie, yet exciting middle part at 3:00

-No Aryeh Kunstler guest vocals

Ki Er’eh

+ Hands down, best slow song on the album

+ Child vocalist, CJ Glicksman

+ Simcha Sussman’s vocals after the child vocals

+ Great harmonies throughout

+ Good length for a Jewish music slow song

Mi Chamocha

+ The NEW Yufyafisa

+ Addictive and transcending song throughout

+ Beginning to end of song is flawless

+ Baruch Aryeh’s vocals

+ Great ending displaying each vocalist

Ki Tov

+ Na na’s at 0:55

+ Get’s better second time around the song

+Sounds like a Baruch Levine song

+ Short

- To happy-go-lucky, beach tune

-Chaim Block fades prematurely for me at 1:56

Shalom Rav

+ Typical Shalsheles composition

+ Amazing chorus

-Very slow refrain

Hinei Anochi

+ Typical shalsheles fast song, like V’nocho and V’haya. Still so good…

+ They only have one of these songs on the album

+ Great chorus

-Typical Shalsheles fast song, like V’nocho and V’haya. Still so headachey…

- Outdated music (i.e. horns are plentiful)


+ Pure and fluid song throughout

+ Simcha Sussman rocks this song

+ Shalsheles manages to recycle the same style tune from previous albums one more time

+ Harmony at 3:29

-Shalsheles manages to recycle the same style tune from previous albums one more time

Mi She’asah

+ Not Aryeh Kunstler arrangements, but still contemporary and fresh

+ Funky, yet addictive music

+ The chorus is out of this world. Different. Harmony filled. Refreshing.

+ Harmony at 4:05, such gooey cream filling goodness

+ Choir to end of the song is fantastic and different

+ Vocals during the choir’s ending


+ Beautiful lyrics; heartwarming; tearjerking.

+ Fantastic arrangements and vocals.

+ Doesn’t get interrupted in the middle by the message “this is a mostlymusic preview.” :)

+ Shalsheles redeems Dreaming with a quality English composition.

+ “It’s Generations & generations….” Love it.

-Would have loved to hear a child vocalist on this


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