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Lev Tahor Retrospective: Lev Tahor 4

Lev Tahor 4, brings us to the last segment in Jewish Music Report’s Lev Tahor retrospective.  Featuring eleven songs, nine of which are original compositions, it is another very nice addition to the world of Jewish music by Ari Cukier, Gadi Fuchs and Eli Schwebel.  These guys are so mellow, so chilled and their albums make for great listening.  Unlike the first three Lev Tahor albums, Eli Schwebel wears the producer’s hat for LT4 and co-arranged five songs on this album, with remaining arrangements by Jeff Horvitch and Leib Yaakov Rigler.   Most importantly, LT4 features the great vocals and harmonies we have come to expect from this very talented group.

Im Lavan: LT4 opens with this fun song, which was also featured on AKA Pella 2.  This is probably the first time I can remember a song whose lyrics are from a Rashi, this one in parshas Vayishlach and are blended with a pizmon for Simchas Torah.    Love the arrangement from 2:32 – 2:51and things get even more fun at 2:54.  A great choice for an opening song!

Moshe: If I were teaching a class of rowdy kids and I wanted to put on soothing music to get them to settle down, this song co-written by Gadi Fuchs and Eli Schwebel, would definitely be on my playlist.  It is soft, mellow and the perfect accompaniment to the Gemara’s which describes Hashem telling Moshe about the special present he has in his treasure house for Bnei Yisroel.

Chaveirim: Again, another smooth, easy song with some very pretty vocals.  Love the ba da dum’s at 1:13.

Avinu: Gadi Fuchs gets some help in the composing department from his younger brother Shabse for yet another soothing song.  Additional vocals by Shabse Fuchs and LT alumnus Mutty Jacobowitz.

Time To Say Good Shabbos: Is there anyone out there who hasn’t heard this Abie Rotenberg classic?  Lev Tahor manages to make it their own, with their winning combination of consistently good vocals and silky harmonies.

Ata Echad:  For me at least, this is the first song on this album that doesn’t fall into the soothing, relaxing category.  No worries, Lev Tahor is just as enjoyable on the leibidic stuff!

Gut Shabbos: Back to slow and tranquil for this song with lyrics from Ma Yedidus.  At 6:20 it is the longest song on this album, but it flows so nicely that it doesn’t feel overly long.

Shiras Halev: This song of unknown composition has a different feel than the rest of the album.  It is a beautiful niggun with a decidedly Middle Eastern flavor and is my favorite on the album.

Kol Hameaneg: Great introduction to this upbeat song with lyrics from Gemara Shabbos.

Mi BonSiach: What Jewish album would be complete without a wedding song?  Again, another song that oozes tranquility with very nice vocals.

Yibane: This song starts off with a terrific instrumental introduction.  Love the low part on this one and it is well suited to Lev Tahor’s style.  Some really pretty harmonies at the end of the song, starting at 3:44.

Is it my imagination or do the introductions on this album lack the intricate harmonies that were so prevalent on the first three albums?  No matter, this album is still a good listen.  Can’t wait to hear LT5!

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