V’Havienu 4 was a cd I was looking forward to reviewing for a while. The first V’Havienu was a great listen and I expected this one as well to be. Granted, I hadn’t kept track of this group for their past 2 CDs, but in the first album the group consisted of Dani, Yitzchok and Fully Eisenberger, but it seems he left after the first album and for the past 2 albums it’s been Dani and his brother Aryeh Kunstler along with Yitzchok Yenowitz. I heard great things about the 2 albums previous to this one but never got around to listening to them.
The band V’Havienu has a rock type of sound on the fast songs, but still manages to hit all the perfect notes on the slow songs. Most of their songs were composed by Dani Kunstler with some other songs mixed in. Dani also plays the piano for the album while Aryeh plays guitar and bass. They got the amazing Gal Gershovsky to play the drums and all three sing the vocals, along with two special stars (to be mentioned later).
Let’s get to the song by song:
TZOMAH- Interestingly, every other V’Havienu album began with a song to the lyrics of V’Havienu Litzion, but this album breaks the trend with this awesome song composed by Shloime Buksbaum. The violins in this song were done by Daniel Ahaviel, and they truly make it great. The song is a great nigun with the words Tzomah L’cha Nafshi interspersed in and is truly a rocking song to begin with.
MIN HASHAMAYIM- This song is the first slow song, and it’s a beautiful song taken from the words of Tehillim. The child soloist is Baruch Kunstler (another one?!), and he has a very nice voice.
HASHEM- Composed by Dani, from the words of Tachanun that we say during davening every morning, this song is a slow paced fast song, a waltz if you may. The saxophone is a big part of this song, played by Nitzan Ein Haber, and the child soloist/ harmonist is Yaakov Kunstler (this is getting ridiculous). The harmony on this song is great, exactly what you’d expect from the talents of this group.
ZEH HASHEM- No doubts on this one, it’s a rock song. Taken from the last words of Maseches Taanis (a mesechta I have very recently finished), it talks about how we place our trust in Hashem and He will save us. The harmony in this song is also fantastic, and the backup choir made of Yoel Schmell, Yehuda Joffre, Nachum Joel, Shael Sokolowski, and Meir Popowski do a great job on this song.
YERUSHALAYIM- A beautiful flute solo begins this song, a slow one from the words of Shemonah Esrei. I love this great version of the classic words. This song is really a great campfire- kumzitz song, perfect for the Three Weeks/ Nine Days. The flute continues throughout and adds a great feel to the song, played by Nitzan Ein Haber.
SOIS- A wedding rock song with tons of bass. The bassist is Aryeh Kunstler, one of the best in the business. This song can be sang at weddings, although it goes from pretty low key to very high key. It’s just an all around rocking song and I had fun jamming with it. Once again, the sax is played by Nitzan Ein Haber and adds that classic wedding feel to the song.
AL NAHAROS BAVEL- Otherwise known as the Geulah Instrumental ( I guess because of the instrumental at the end of the song), this song was composed by Avi Kunstler, Dani and Aryeh’s father. He also adds his vocals to this song. It’s a really nice song, and when the song ends the instrumental portion starts with minimal instruments in the beginning (piano, bass) and gradually adding more and more, until you have the full sound of the song in instrumental form. Really beautiful job by everyone involved.
SAMEACH- Another song from Sheva Brochos. This one was written in memory of Izzy Taubenfeld, and starts off slowly with strumming guitars in the background, before picking up speed and becoming a folk type song, complete with flute and violin.
RACHEL- Written in memory of Racheli Sofer, this song starts with a nice acapella version of the high part, followed by a flute intro and one of two child soloists on this song, Moshe Kunstler. The other child soloist/ harmonist is Baruch Kunstler. This song includes some nice electric guitar peices from Aryeh and is a very nice slow song.
KAMU- From the words of Aishes Chayil, this song ends the album with a beautiful slow song to take with you. We get some more violin from Daniel Ahaviel, and with that the album closes.
This album is a must for people who kept up with the band and heard the last three CDs. This album is also a good buy for new listeners to V’Havienu. If you can get your hands on a copy, I advise you take a listen. You may just fall in love with the Kunstler style of music. Oh, and Scratchy Yenowitz (I told myself I wouldn’t, but I had to).