Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Ashrecha (Michoel Pruzansky)

Artist’s web site: Pruz.com

Album can be previewed/purchased at Mostly Music.com

Reviewer: Mindy

It’s finally here! Michoel Pruzansky’s long awaited album, “Ashrecho” – yes, the one for which Ari Goldwag wrote “My song on Pruzansky's album? anyone know about it? if YOU know anything, let ME know. Thanx.” LOL : -) . Well, Ari, and everyone else, here it finally is. An album worth waiting all this time for. The amount of dedicated hard work that Pruz’s team put into it, is evident in the quality of the songs, the vocals, and the music. I am really impressed. It’s been just ages since a really good solid album came out on the market; there was mamish nothing of note released in the past six months. FINALLY, something good to listen to!

In today’s JM world there are basically two genres: the old-fashioned, “typical”, yeshivishe style, and the newfangled “new and different” style. If you’re the kind that doesn’t enjoy old-school wholesome kind of Jewish music, this album isn’t for you. But if you’re bored of every new singer and group trying to outdo each other with innovative new styles, and crave for some good old-fashioned, singable songs, here you go!

This CD takes on the predictable pattern of: Song 1 – fast hora, hit of the tape; Song 2 – beautiful slow song; Song 3 – kumzitz style song;, Song 6 – hora – and so on and so forth. As I was listening to the cd, I kept waiting for the inevitable filler songs. But they never came. Every single song is solid, singable, and beautiful. The crème de la crème of composers all have a song or two on this cd: Eli and Moshe Laufer, Yossi Green, Yitzy Waldner, Ari Goldwag, and even a newcomer to the scene.

Michoel has one advantage over some of the newcomers; he already has experience. He’s sung on plenty of simchas, and performed with the Miami alumni a couple of times. I’ve seen him; he’s got great stage presence. He has the confidence, the ability to hold a crowd, and wow, a strong voice to boot. So IY”H when he hits the concert arena, he won’t be one of those guys who “has a great voice but needs to work on his stage presence”, because he already has it. I think that his stint with the Miami alumni is going to be very helpful towards putting him on the map; many people know about him and his album because of those concert appearances.

Interestingly enough, with many of the recent new singers, their slow songs were their strength on their cds. In this one, even though the slow songs are beautiful, the fast songs are really fantastic. It’s been a while since the Jewish Music market had some good, solid, lebedig songs. About time!

Ashrecho also has one unique feature which I don’t think I’ve seen on a cd before: It coincidentally has four Yerushalayim songs! Ha. Maybe the cd oughta be called “Yerushalayim”.

The tape was produced by Yochi Briskman and arranged my Moshe Laufer. Eli Laufer arranged the choir.

On to the songs:

Song 1: Ashrecho composed by Eli Laufer In my opinion, this is the hit song of the album. The words are: Pas Bamelach Tochel, U’Mayim Bamsuro Tishteh etc.. It’s a “fast hora” – not fast enough to qualify for a fast song, but faster than a hora. I really like it. Michoel’s voice is amazing; he sounds like MBD with even more strength! Although he probably doesn’t have the highest range, he hits the high notes very well. It’s not your typical tune, yet very easily singable. This is one of those songs that will sing in your head for a long time, and you will find it very hard not to dance along with it. I rate this song a resounding 11!

Song 2: UVnei compose by Yitzy Waldner Here comes your inevitable first slow song. It’s gorgeous! The words are: Viliyerushalayim Ircha b’Rachamim Toshuv etc. etc. Michoel has a lot of gefeel and its evident in this song. I rate this song a 9.

Song 3: Simchu Yerushalayim composed by Pinky Weber Wow. What a destined classic. This is one of those “new-genre” songs; like Godol from Shalsheles, V’Atah Kisvu from Menucha – I don’t know what this type of song is called, a ballad, a waltz, whatever. The words are something completely new. It’s from the Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Haftora: “Simchu es Yerushalayim V’Gilu Boh Kol Ohaveho Sisu Itoh Mosos Kol Hamisabelim Oleho” and the high part is: “K’Ish Asher Imo Tenachamenu Ken Unocho Anachemchem Uviyerushalayim Tinuchomu.” It’s a really fantastic song, and I hope it will be picked up, because it deserves tons of airplay. Once again, Pinky at his best! Michoel does some great harmony on himself, and it’s just gorgeous. I rate this song a 10.

Song 4: Hareini Mezaman composed by Moshe Laufer. Another slow song, but not slow enough to depress you. There isn’t much choir work, and you have a chance to see Michoel’s range and hear his heart and soul come out in this song. I rate this song an 8.

Song 5: Yosis Alayich by Eli Laufer The requisite wedding song – one of the two only real fast songs on the tape, and what you would call a very typical song. Very nice clarinet work on it; sounds like a lebedigeh chasidishe niggun. I can see this song being sung at weddings. I’ll rate it a 7.

Song 6: Da Lifnei Mi composed by Yossi Green You can see right away that this is a Yossi Green composition. (His voice is heard clearly in the choir : -) ). This is a hora song, and the tune is great. I like the intro very much. There is some really good choir work and “nah nah nah”s. Yossi’s voice adds tremendously to this song. There are also some great harmonies. Also, the word “hu” is sung very creatively. I rate this song another 10.

Song 7: Ko Omar by Yitzy Waldner Another slow song, with a very nice guitar intro. A rather typical song, but Michoel gives the slow songs his whole heart and neshama, which makes it for very pleasant listening. He sounds particularly good when he sings the high parts, which bring out his gefeel. There is some very nice electric guitar work and violins on this one. It ends beautifully on a very high note. I rate this song an 8.

Song 8: Im Atem by Isaac Altman Here comes another new composer face on the block. I love this song! I think it belongs a little earlier in the album, in my humble opinion. The words are pretty original too: Im Atem Mshomrim Neiros Shel Shabbos Ani Mareh etc. etc. (It’s from Midrash.) It’s a very catchy tune and the choir work is great. As I said, the fast songs on this cd are are fantastic, and this one is no exception. I rate the song another 10.

Song 9: Yerushalayim by Ari Goldwag The long awaited song of the album. I thought it would be featured way earlier in the album. I was surprised that it’s put so late. It sounds pretty much exactly like he performed it on stage, with the backup choir and all. Really gorgeous song. In my opinion it needed a little more music. It has virtually no rhythm in the beginning, although the piano is really beautiful. Once again Michoel’s full range and true heart and gefeel come out in this piece. I rate it a 9.

Song 10: V’haveeainu by Eli Laufer If there is a filler song on the cd, it’s probably this one, but it’s not a bad song to end the tape with. This is the fourth Yerushalayim song on the tape, and the 2nd fast song on the tape. The choir work is cute on this one. Nothing majorly earth shattering about this song, but nothing bad either. I rate it a 7.

89/100 – not bad at all for a debut album : -).

So guys, here you finally have yourselves a solid tape with gorgeous vocals and beautiful songs. I highly recommend it. And I can only wish Michoel a ton of hatzlocha as he embarks on his solo career.

Comments on this review can be left below.


Blogger Mikshoo Productions said...

I had the honor of interviewing Michoel Pruzansky on my Jewish Music TV show - The Yideo Video Show.. it already aired in NY (Time Warner / NYC - 35), and soon to be on our website: www.mikshoo.com...

Michoel talks about this album in the interview, and I asked him about my cousin's (Ari) involvement with the album.. stay tuned...

December 15, 2006 at 6:48 AM  

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