Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Ruach Uneshama



Album can be previewed/purchased at Mostly Music.com

Reviewer: Mindy



FINALLY! I can review this most long-awaited album... If only I'd have been waiting for Moshiach the way I was waiting for Ruach UNeshama....

Okay. Here comes my comprehensive report.

The story is like this. The songs are GREAT. Ari's voice is SUPERB. I love his voice, his "gefiel", and the way he sings. I absolutely do, and I will probably listen to this tape a lot in the next few weeks. The tunes are good, the effects and arrangements are okay. There are two songs which Ari sings all by himself and those are my favorites actually....

The album basically consists of a huge choir, with four soloists, one of them (the best!) our Ari. His sis Elana also plays the flute there somewhere.

Oddly enough, when I listened to the clip off his site (http://members.aol.com/arisvoice), two songs struck me immediately (#2 and #7). I loved those two the most. And to my great surprise, those two songs were specifically composed by Ari himself! No wonder! They are the nicest songs on the album and Ari does them solo. Those are really good.

Here is my review of the individual songs:

1. Shivisi composed by Yisroel Meyer Merkin

Ari does a lot of solo singing on this song and his voice is superb! The second part of the song has a part where one of the other soloists try to hit a high note and he doesnt' do it too well... The song as a whole is not fantastic, although I do like the tune of it. The music is superb. It's a rocky song. Out of 10, I would rate it an 8.

2. Shema Bni composed by Ari Goldwag himself & Yisroel Meir Merkin

This is my FAVORITE song of the entire album. There is some beautiful violin music and it's very clear. It's a slow song, but it's gorgeous. Ari totally outdoes himself here. A boy named Moishe Gutterman is the child soloist. He sings STUNNING. I get chills from this song. Ari harmonizes..... he sounds like the father and Moishe the son. It is worth buying the entire album just for this song alone. I cannot tell you how magnificent and moving this song is. Ari has a tremendous gift of a moving voice. His voice is 1000 times better than as a child. This song gets a resounding 11.

3. Hafachta composed by Heshy Mandel, Chaim Meyerov and MP

A rocky song. Good Music. Very lebedig. Ari does slow solos better, though. This song also ends off with the music trailing off. I don't know if it's supposed to be trendy or out of style. I rate this song a 7.(NOTE FROM MINDY: I LATER FOUND OUT THAT CHAIM SCHWARTZ SANG ON THIS SONG, NOT ARI. I WAS ALWAYS CONFUSING THE TWO VOICES)..

4. The English song: Dear Brothers, composed and lyrics by YM Merkin

It's an EXCELLENT English song. All four of the soloists sing. It's a lot better than the little clip on the site. I like the lyrics very much and the message is beautiful. Oddly enough, the chorus sounds almost exactly like the chorus of "Sunshine" from MBC... I rate this song a 9.

5. U'Vau Chulom composed by YM Merkin

Nice mellow song. I don't know exactly what a flute sounds like but I think there is a flute in there. Elana, his 17 yr old sister plays the flute for the tape, so I think that's the one.... The song ends off with everyone clapping. It sounds like a spirited Shvuos in yeshiva.... I rate it a 7. Ari's voice is great in this song.

6. Mi Adir composed by YM Merkin

Another lebedigeh (wedding?) song. Most of the solos here are not done by Ari. I'd give it a 6.

7. Koh Ribon composed by Ari Goldwag

Slow and beautiful song. My second favorite song of the album. Ari and his co-soloists do it superbly. Very heartzig. Very moving. I rate this an 11 as well. It seems Ari does nicely on slow songs and fabulous on harmonies. He also composes slow songs really well.

8. M'heira composed by YM Merkin

Saara should be an expert on M'heiras! But I've heard a lot of much better M'heira's than this one. Typical lebedigeh wedding song. Rated about 6.

9. B'sheim HaShem composed by YM Merkin & Ari Goldwag

Yet another beautiful, slow, moving song, with superb harmonies. Ari and Chaim solo the song. Rate it a full 10. (NOTE FROM MINDY: CHAIM SCHWARTZ SINGS HERE TOO.)

10. Niggun, composed by YM Merkin

This is a very interesting track. It's an instrumental basically, very lebedig and fast, with the guys singing nah nah nah a lot. It sounds like the same tune as Shivisi. I'd give it a 7.

On the whole, this tape is absolutely an excellent effort. I purchased the tape specifically to hear Ari sing, and I was not disappointed in that particular aspect. His voice is tremendously beautiful and the songs he composed are fabulous! It's a lot better even than the preview on the site! For a bunch of yeshiva guys putting out an album together, this exceeded my expectations. I give it my thumbs up and urge you all to buy it!! It is an excellent album.


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