Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Avinu (Shloime Dachs)

Artist’s web site: Shloime Dachs.com

Album can be previewed/purchased Here

Reviewer: Mindy

Here is a quick review of Shloime Dachs’s new album, “Avinu.”

I must admit that at first I was a little skeptical. I wasn’t blown away by the songs I initially heard on the radio. But Shloime was right; you have to hear a CD thoroughly 2-3 times before passing judgement. Even though my mistake earned me a free CD and Shloime’s friendship, I’ll try not to be biased and be truthful about the album.

I usually have a hard time liking solo albums because they generally bore me. You all know that I go for group acts, choirs, and all star albums above solo acts any time. But like Acheinu, almost every song on the album is a hit. I was very impressed with the CD; many moving slow songs and lively catchy songs. Of course Shloime puts in his unique hartzigkeit into his delivery, making the CD for very pleasant listening.

Shloime had said a while ago in several interviews (I remember a Dov Hikind interview clearly) that this is gonna be a “new, up-to-date”, sort of reinvented, hip Shloime Dachs. I didn’t find it to be the case too much, although some of the songs do have a more contemporary flavor which reflects the current trends and consumer demands in the Jewish music industry. Ain Lanu, Forever, and Avinu might be characterized as the “new” Shloime style, but the rest of the album is consistent with Shloime’s usual style. Unless, perhaps, I haven’t really been following him too closely the past decade and don’t know much about his “style” (but I do believe I have some knowledge)….

The cd insert has some interesting things of note: The front cover is a picture of Shloime in Tallis and Tefillin – now we are all privileged to see Shloime’s elbow. (just kiddin). His credits are a veritable who’s who in Jewish music: He thanks Nachum Segal, Hersh Einhorn, Shelly Lang, Aaron Teitelbaum, Yisroel Lamm, Suki & Ding, Sheya Mendlowitz, MBD, Avremel, Dedi, Yisroel Williger. Mendy Wald, Michoel Schnitzler, Lipa Schmeltzer, Avrumi Flam, Shlomo Simcha, Yossi Green, J.J. Fried, Yossi Tyberg, Rivie Schwebel, Moshe & Eli Laufer, Adam Melzer, Yochi Briskman, Avremi G., Shloime Ash, and a whole bunch of other names in the business…. Wow. I guess he knows everyone and everyone knows him :) Just imagine a concert with all of the above referenced people. You’d need the Giants Stadium. And who wouldn’t go?

By the way I was very surprised when I put the CD into my computer that Windows Media automatically filled in the names of the songs for me. I wonder if someone ALREADY put the information in so that WMP was able to supply me with it, or if it’s programmed into the CD?

I forgot to mention that the CD has an interactive clip that can be viewed on your pc. It has links to see other cds of his, his site, his email address, etc., and there is a 7 minute VERY MOVING video clip sung to his Im Eshkachech song which I think will touch every heart. I was crying when I watched it! It’s beautiful. I like this new trend that Gideon started with interactive clips on the cd.

OK. Here is a brief rundown of the songs: (I”ll try to keep this review short although it’s already a page long!)

1. Ain Lanu
This hora opener is the true hit of the tape. Although I had criticized it at first, I fell in love with it after several listens. It’s lebedig; it’s fun; it’ll have you off your feet and dancing in no time. The music is full and rich and great. I think this is a new wedding hit, and will become Shloime’s new “signature song” – his new “K’Ish Echod” if you will, and I think it’s a masterpiece.

2. Ani Maamin
This interesting song starts off slow and suddenly becomes lebedig. I like this song a lot. Isn’t it funny how Ani Maamins can be slow and fast and they sound great in both tempos!

3. Forever
This is absolutely my favorite song on the album. I think this has become my new theme song in life. I find the lyrics beautiful but, oh, the tune! It’s so haunting and sweet…. Here are some of the lyrics:

Father dear, I await so anxiously To see a world of peace a world of unity All the wars, all the lives that we have lost Can never be replaced, and oh! At what a cost

Keli Lama, Azavtanee? Father dear, where are you? Can’t you see me?

It seems like forever now Oh won’t you please just show your face Take us by the hand and say “We’re going home!”

It seems like forever now Oh won’t you please just feel your pain We beg, we ask, we pray Please bring us home and show your face


We can dream, we can hope for times of change When evil men will pay, and only good remains We will laugh, when you stage that final play To even out the score, and we’ll no longer say….

Keli Lama, Azavtanu? Father dear, where are you? Can’t you see me?
I’m telling you I love this song… I can listen to it again and again… the tune is exquisitely haunting, and fits in so well with the words… It’s so different, not your typical one, and the music is simply gorgeous. I think this is my favorite song off the album… Yitzy Bald composed the lyrics and the tune on this one

4 Ma Rabu
This is the song on the Arutz Sheva charts. This track is not my personal favorite and I think Kobi could’ve chosen a better song, like track 1, or maybe track 6. This song is a medium fast song – not a slow hora, more of a slow fast. I think I hear Gideon Levine in this song, if I’m not mistaken.

5 Im Eshkachech
I heard the song for the first time at the Pataki rally and I wasn’t too impressed then, but the song started growing on me after I watched the video clip. The visual effects made me realize the significance of the words and how well they fit with the tune. It’s a very heartzige piece, and I suspect that this song will find its way to the next Chupah songs collection…

6 Avinu
This title track is suprisingly a half Yiddish half Loshon Kodesh song. I love it!!! It’s my 2nd favorite song on the tape (1st place goes to Forever). The words are: Tatte Zeeser Helf Shoin Alleh Yidden, Helf Shoin Daina Kinderlach, Avinu Malkeinu, Malei Yodeinu Mibirchosecha. The Yiddish words are very tastefully chosen apparently; it is pronounced the same way in the Litvish and the Chasidish dialects, so it’s easy for it to be sung in all kehillas and the song doesn’t make anyone feel “left out”. This song is the most daring and “different” one on the album, and I really, really like it. I think this song will appeal to a cross section of different people and might become a universally accepted hit song. It’s nice for a change to hear an Avinu Malkeinu fast song!

7 Asher Bara
The song itself is nice, but I personally am not crazy over it. For starters, Asher Bara in my taste belongs to be a fast song. Also, somehow in this song I feel like I’ve heard it SOMEWHERE – it’s probably the most typical and un-different song on the album. Oh, well, not all songs can appeal to everyone! Shloime dedicated this song to newlyweds Mendy & Henny Wald and Menachem & Yael Toker. Anyone know if Toker actually got married yet?

8 Bayom Hahu
Nice fast song, composed by Yishai Lapidot – nothing extraordinary, but a nice smooth flowing fast one. Words: Bayom Hahu Yihyeh HaShem Echod Ushmo Echod, Kakosuv B’Sorosecheo, shtait in dain torah… a little bit of a different kvetch there.

9 Yehi HaChodesh
It seems that the quality of the songs begin the decline the later we get in the tape, or maybe it’s my taste, because I don’t think this song is anything special. It was composed by Yitzy Waldner. Definitely not hit material, but good enough to make it on a Shloime Dachs tape.

10. Shomer Yisroel
This is a very nice and moving slow song, not slow enough to bore you, yet heartfelt and inspiring enough to befit the words Shomer Yisroel.

Shloime dedicates this song to the volunteers and staff of all the organizations that help bring a smile to the facts of special children and their families. It is a well known fact that Shloime is very involved with Ohel and does a lot of good with special children and adults, as well as bikur cholim. (He even thanks the bikur cholim crew on the insert).

11 Aizo Hee
The lyrics are pretty original – from pirkei avos, aizo hee derech yeshara sheyavar lo ha’adam, kol shehee tiferes le’oseho v’siferes lo min h’adam. The tune is not majorly original, but it’s a nice song to end off the album. There’s a short piece of semi-chazanus in the middle. Pretty cute to hear shloime dach’s do chazanus – not boring chazanus but cute chazanus. It’s an original idea.

12 There is a hidden track – a short acapella version of Im Eshkachech which is almost nicer than the song itself! A cappella is always beautiful.

In short, (Short? This review turned out to be four pages long!) it’s a great album – a must get for Shloime Dachs fans, and if you’re not a fan yet, you just might be one by the time you finish listening!

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