It’s been a while since his last album, but Yerachmiel Begun’s long awaited “Ut Ut” has been delighting Miami fans everywhere. As usual, YB defies peer pressure by going “old school” Yeshivish/Haimish as opposed to modern , but his talents are timeless and amazing so it’s great for 2015 as well. I’m sure it will be popular in 2050 also!
There are many great soloists on this album, but the one that stands out is Dovid Pearlman because of his experience and name recognition. In fact, he is the only choir member from the album Mi Lashem Ailai that is still in the choir. His uncle was the late Zavel Pearlman a”h who was a star Miami soloist in the 1990’s on Simcha Song, Light up the Lights, and Stand Up. His father – Aryeh Pearlman was also in Miami Boys Choir and also co-starred in an album called Pi Shnayim that came out about 2006.
The music is arranged by YB, but most of the orchestration is done by Yisroel Lamm.
1 – Ut Ut: This is a fantastic song to jump start the album – literally! The choir gets really into it by the concerts with their choreography. My kids do the same when they perform for us by the Shabbos seuda. The words are Sheyiboneh Bais Hamikdosh Bimheiro and the high part is “Ut ut kumt Moshiach” which is Yiddish for “Moshiach is almost coming.” Later there is a little flashback to the album “Min Hashamayim” the first song which also has ” Kumt shoin shnell arain, freilich zol men zein, in Bais Hamikdosh gein mit Moshiach Tzidkeinu” It’s a different tune of course.
2 – Leibedik: If you think that after a spunky first song like Ut, Ut, then the next one would be more subdued, think again. This is an Asher Boro that can be sung by wedding dances. The high part once again has Yiddish words that are meant to inspire a person to be lively, energetic and live al pi Torah and they go hand in hand.
3- Boi Kalah: The song starts off actually with Aishes Chayil – Boi Kalah from Lecho Doidi is the high part. This is a nice slow song probably a good fit to be sung at a Chupa. It has some very nice harmonies.
4- B’simcha Rabah: This starts off sounding like a march, but it actually reminds me of Tiskabel – a hit song from a previous album “One by One”. Another similarity is the high part from both songs is the emphasis on “RABA” with “Yehai Shlomo RABA” and “Bisimcha RABA” and they both do sound similar. I really like this song – it uplifts me every time I listen to it.
5- Tzur Yisroel: The song is only 4 minutes long – rather short for a slow song. However, it has really nice solos and harmonies, including a powerful high part solo from the above-mentioned Dovid Pearlman.
6- Vishom: The words are from the end of Shmoneh Esrai and it’s an upbeat tune inspiring us to look forward to the building of the Bais Hamikdosh and the coming of Moshiach. If the song by the words at the end “uchshonim kadmoiniyois” sound familiar to you, don’t worry it does sound like “uchshonim kadmoiniyois” from “Viseioreiv” on Miami Yovo.
7- Invei Hagefen: This a first for Miami – a song performed solely by alumni members of Miami Boys Choir including Zalman Pollock, Daniel Muchnik, Shaul Elson, Jordan Odinsky, and Isaac Benishai. It’s a beautiful slow song composed in honor of Yerachmiel Begun’s son in 2014. Every choir member has a solo or duet and they are listed in the order they are sung. My only regret is that Shaul Elson didn’t have a bigger part.
8- Sameach: I love this song even though it makes me laugh. The low part starts off “Everyone is happy so happy” so the pessimist will think “how dare you say everyone is happy, how do you know I’m happy? Maybe I’m never happy!” but even the most cynical will be swept to dance and sing from this song. It even has some Yiddish and Hebrew sprinkled in.
9- He will Answer Us: The lyrics are by Tzippi Shaked – the mother of Miami Mizrach star soloist Orie Shaked – who makes a marvelous guest appearance in this song. He is joined by Dovid Pearlman and Tzvi Simchon as this song is solely sung by these soloists until the last high part when they sing together. It is a brilliant , sweet masterpiece.
10- Lo Bashamayim Hee: The words are from Parshas Nitzovim. The low part is the Possuk “Ki Koroiv Ailecho…” that Torah is close and easily attainable. The high part is “Lo Bashamayim Hee….” that Torah is not unattainable. Pay attention to the words and it gets you going to take action to grow. It has another powerful solo from Dovid Pearlman.
11- Pitchu Li: The lyrics are based on a Chazal in the Medrash of Shir Hashirim that Hashem is asking us to take the first step and he will guide us the rest of the way. It is sung in an Israeli accent with an absolute fabulous solo by Dovid Pearlman – probably his last one with Miami.
12- Kol Kol Kol: The song starts off soft and I was afraid that the album would have an unspectacular ending, but then by “Kol, Kol, Kol” it wakes up and it has a real majestic feel at the end.
I am happy that Yerachmiel has more of his own solos in this album than in the previous ones as that provides continuity as the only solo that is still on this series of albums dating back to 1984 with Besyato Dishmayo. If you ever want to create a playlist with different Miamis through the years, the common thread will be his voice no matter who the kids are.
To sum up, this is another outstanding Miami album. Its name speaks for itself, but it has uniqueness so don’y think it’s the same as the old ones. Do yourself a favor and get it.