Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Shalsheles 2



Artist’s web site: Shalsheles.com

Album can be previewed/purchased at Mostly Music.com

Reviewer: Moishe


Ok,

I know I was supposed to post it a couple of days ago but I was too busy at work - I was getting home around 11pm each night:-( The bright spot to it is that I had Shelsheles Vol. 2 with me at work and was able to listen to it non-stop. Yes - this is THE BEST album to come out in a while, IMHO.

First of all some history. Shelsheles was undoubtely an unexpected suprise of 2000, the same way Shwekey and The Chevra were in 2001. It took a while for it to catch on but it quickly gained momentum and people started to wonder if they can indeed pull it off again. Someone decided to make more money on Yitzchok Rosenthal's new found fame and released "Rozo Dshabbos". Some people mistakenly assumed that this was indeed a new Shelsheles album and were quite disappointed since it was a far cry from original Shelsheles album. Some people even started saying that Shelsheles was a one-hit wonder. Well, after listening to their new album I can state that lightening DOES strike twice:-) Shelsheles Vol. 2 is GREAT. Now, on to the individual tracks:

1. Shalom - I have no clue but all of a sudden all albums have the same shtick on all their albums - accapella is in:-) This album also opens up with an accapella - just like Nochum's and Chevra's. BTW, this album was recorded over the summer (I have a few reliable sources to confirm that) so I don't think that they just decided to record it that way because it is an in thing. Then again, they did their first album the same well as well ("Mi Ha'ish") so I'm not surprised. They also resample the voices in the middle of the song but it doesn't bother me anymore - I guess I got used to it after listening to MBD's new album a few times:-) All in all, it is a very catchy track though it is not too fast.

2. Ani Ma'amin - One thing that you have to give Shelsheles is that they do sing with a lot of heart. Ani Ma'amin is a very beautiful slow song even though I think they should have used a kid soloist on this one - the did a wonderful job with "Esau Ayenai" on the first album and I think they would have benefited from it on this track as well. Nevertheless, it is indeed a very nice slow rendition and should please plenty of people out there.

3. Gadol - This yet another "semi-fast" track (sorry, but I don't have too much musical education so anyone can point me to right term, I would be than glad to use it). It has great beat and beautiful harmonies. Very nice track

4. Olatz - Another great slow track. Performed with a lot of heart and very nice tune

5. V'Nocho - The music tempo on this one is bit a faster than on a previous fast tracks but I guess the words wouldn't go too well if it was very fast so the singing sort of slows down the pace of the song a bit. All in all, a very nice track

6. V'Haya - this is one track that fooled me. It starts off slow so Iskipped it on the first listening but it is indeed a song with a very nice uptempo performance. One of my favorites on the whole album. Very similar to "Yodu" on the first album except that it has no kids singing.

7. Yhi Shalom - Another slow track, this time with child soloists. The child soloist on this one are Sruli Edelstein and Yaakov Mehl. If anyone has the first CD handy, I'm pretty sure that these are the same child soloists that were used on that one as well. The problem is that one of them (I have no clue who sings what) doesn't sound too great - feels like his voice is changing and he can't hit high notes anymore and it definitely sounds interesting to hear someone reach for a high note and then fail:-( Otherwise it is a very nice song.

8. Boee - Shelsheles takes on Kabbolos Shabbos:-) Another slow song performed with a lot of heart.

9. Tzadik - By far my most favorite track on the whole album. It has a very great beat to it and uses electric guitar which I really like. Great tempo and beautiful performance

10. Mi Bon Siach - Well, I guess that's another fad - every CD has to contain its own rendition of either "Mi Adir" or "Mi Bon Siach". Well, if you wanted to know how Shelsheles would sound at a chasanah - here is your chance:-) Nice track but I think they should off closed the album with another one. Oh well, it is still one heck of an album.

Well, once you count how many times I used words "great" and "beautiful", you should have a pretty good idea of how I would rank this album. Should you buy it? If you enjoyed their first album (I'm yet to find someone who hasn't) then you should BY ALL MEANS get this one. If you didn't like their first one then I don't think you will enjoy this one either but given that everyone that I met so far liked it, I think the point is moot:-) If you never heard of Shelsheles then you should definitely do yourself a favor and get your hands on either one - they are both spectacular.

All in all, I gotta hand it to Shelsheles - they did a terrific job not once but TWICE in a row and hopefully their next album will continue on the same path.

Moishe

***
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