Today I’ll be reviewing the new album “Stay with Me” from the Mesivta of Waterbury. I had the opportunity to preview this album directly from Yisroel Levine (the producer of the album). After the two songs I got a chance to hear in various stages of production I have be
en extremely excited for the release of this album. As if that weren’t enough this album is co-produced by the one and only Aryeh Kunstler. Let that sink in. A new album, featuring compositions by a number of fresh talented composers, featuring some of the best musicians to be featured on such an album, and co-produced by an extremely talented Engineer/Guitarist/Producer. Let jump in!
- Ani Maamin – Composed by Yaakov Blatter this albums starts us off with a guitar and some percussion (a recurring theme throughout the album). Get used to the song now because there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be hearing it at the next Kumzits you attend.
- Gam Ki Eilech – You have to assume that when a track on the album is composed by the producer of the album himself it’s sure to be a great song. Yisroel does not disappoint! This is a stirring ballad which which perfectly fits the lyrics. This track also features piano by the multi talented Nochi Krohn.
- Hashem Melech – Even if you haven’t gotten a chance to hear the album till now, I would guess you may have heard this song. Both released as a single in advance of the album’s release and covered recently by EvenAl Orchestra and Yonatan Shlagbaum this song has definitely been making the rounds. Composed by a quartet of talented individuals Yoav Nathan, Kalman MAndel, Yaakov Blatter, and Yossi Spira you can rest assured that there is a new “Hashem Melech” taking over the music scene!
- Psach Libi – After grooving to “Hashem Melech” we arrive at another beautiful ballad. These guys certainly know how to come up with some great material. This song is another Yaakov Blatter original.
- Hold On – Composed by Kalmen Mandel and Yaakov Blatter this song will get you tapping your foot to the beat. Stay tuned for the vibraphone solo.
- Ki Avi – This next track composed by Menachem Rozner is another moving song featuring some amazing guitar work by Aryeh Kunstler and Yoav Nathan. The choirs on this song are impeccable and the vocals really shine.
Yismechu – While I’m not sure that the nusach used for Chazaras Hashatz on Shabbos morning is going to be changed anytime soon, this definitely has potential as a contender. Certainly for the more musically inclined Shul’s this sounds to me like something you could hear everyone in attendance singing along with.
- Mishoich – This next song features vocals by it’s composer Yoav Nathan. Yoav also contributes guitars to almost every song on this album.
- Min Hameitzar – This song is composed and performed by Pinny Schachter. For those unfamiliar with Pinny a number of years ago Pinny released a music video which collected just under 50 thousand views. I would bet that longtime fans of his have been waiting a long time for another track and here it is! Pinny delivers stunning vocals along with a song that not only showcases his voice but transmits a powerful message.
- Oseh Shalom – This next song is composed by producer Yisroel Levine and features his vocals as well as Pinny Schachter’s. The choir parts on this fit perfectly and really enhance the song.
- Elokai – Composed by Sruly Rubin this song is another beautiful composition to add to the long list of gorgeous compositions throughout this album. The boys from Waterbury certainly have shown us that not only can they compose songs and play and sing, but that they can compose songs worthy of the words being put to those compositions.
- Stay With Me – In the tradition of saving the best for last the title track is the last one on this album. This track composed by Yaakov Blatter covers feelings that many of us experience on a regular basis. The lyrics are sincere and the vocals powerful (and the guitar solo’s don’t hurt either).
Starting with the release of the Waterbury album like “Ain Mayim Ela Torah” (2007), the Waterbury Chevra have shown us their talents. This album is no different. Starring a number of talented composed, musicians, arrangers, and vocalists, this is sure to be a favorite in many homes inside (and outside) of the Waterbury community. I would highly recommend it and I’m sure after listening to it you’ll find yourself recommending it to others as well!
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