Growing up with younger sisters, my brothers and I were introduced to many of the popular songs that girls all over were singing. We boys did not have the most complimentary things to say about them and had a good time making fun of the songs and our sisters attempts to sing them (just as an aside…and since at least one of my sisters will read this, they did have nice voices and we all loved singing zemiros together, but those songs….). As I got older and more mature they didn’t bother me as much but the style was not something that really appealed to me. Fast forward to my own daughters singing the same style songs on the top of their lungs. My wife and I don’t like the volume, but I love the fact that my girls are into music and so I pay attention. I have a newfound appreciation for the songs and that particular style. Now, when I hear a song that my girls have been singing my ears perk up. When I first got the Miracles album I was so excited to hear “Im atem mishamirim neiros shel Shabbos” because I can’t count how many times my oldest daughter asked me if I knew the song (eventually I knew it from her but not from any recording). I couldn’t wait to play it for her at home. It got me to listen to the album a number of times and it’s really nice. The songs, composed by the talented Chayala Neuhaus and sung by Miami Boys Choir soloist Dovid Pearlman, son of Pi Shnayim legend Aryeh Pearlman are really beautiful. Various collaborators (who I will mention later) give this album a real flavor not usually found in releases today.
Without any further ado here is my song by song assessment:
Adon Olam – This lebedik song is a real foot tapper and a perfect beginning for the album. Chayala arranges this song together with Nochi Krohn. The synth/techno arrangements remind me of some of Nochi’s other work and it really highlights his talent. Dovid has such a sweet and angelic voice and it shines on this song.
Miracles – This is the title track of the album and what a deep and meaningful song it is. This slow hartzige song discusses the regular happenings in life and recognizing how they are all miracles from Hashem. Nochi and Chayala collaborate once again on the arrangements of this song, as they do on many of the songs on this album. This song is breathtaking and beautiful!
Becharbi – This song, composed as a theme for Camp Bnos, talks about our tefilos being so meaningful and hopefully accepted by Hashem. This is another gem of a song on an album full of them.
Shabbos at the Kosel – Dovid is joined on this song by my favorite new artist Dovid Lowy. As on Dovid Lowy’s album, their voices really mesh well together. The song describes Shabbos at the Kosel (I know it’s kinda obvious by the title of the song). Chayala is joined by Jeff Horvich in expertly arranging the song. This has a theme song feel to it. As a long time camper….that’s a good thing!
Modeh Ani – This upbeat and fun song as a different sound to it than most of the album. I didn’t realize it at first but when I looked at the cover I see that Dovid composed and sings the song along with another talented boy, Mordechai Gifter. I had been planning on saying how the song fits the style of a boys choir and what a coincidence that the composers are both star soloists in choirs! Dovid, as I mentioned earlier, in Miami Boys Choir and Mordechai in NYBC.
Keili – If I had not found “Im Atem” then this probably would have been my favorite song on the album. There is so much haartz in it and that’s just the tune. The words are perfectly matched to the tune and turn it into a very emotional song. On this song, and sprinkled on many of the songs on the album, Dovid really sings some beautiful harmonies.
The Power of Speech – This is another song that was featured in a camp. Camp Chayil Miriam was the beneficiary of a beautiful song that discusses a very important topic! I like how the song switches back and forth from a slow tempo to upbeat. I think it helps convey the message that we must be careful what we say and how we speak.
Diracheha – This is a very touching song that discusses the greatness of the Torah. Each part of the song starts out slow as each phase of life is sung about and builds up in tempo to the chorus. This is another deep and meaningful song on this beautiful album.
Im Atem Meshamrim – So in case anyone hasn’t figured out yet, this is my favorite song on the album. I know that it is a popular song by the girls because even in Chicago they sing it! Many of my Shabbos seudos have been graced by this song and it makes me think of my daughters each time I hear it. Dovid’s father, Aryeh, sings background vocals and Jeff Horvich arranges on this song. A song about Shabbos and the eventual coming of Mashiach…what could be better! “Oy im atem mishamrim neiros shel Shabbos…” I love this song! Dovid’s falsetto ending at the end….wow just beautiful!
Miracles – Instrumental – the last track is the title track of the album without any vocals. This way anyone who wants to go back and feel the camp spirit can take out the words of the song and sing along!
In conclusion, if you are looking for a nice enjoyable album, you want to check out Miracles! It is available at http://mostlymusic.com/products/miracles or wherever quality Jewish music is sold.