Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Torah Harbeh (Yumi)

Artist’s web site: Yumi

Album can be previewed/purchased at Mostly Music.com

Reviewer: Mindy

I first heard about Yumi’s CD about a year ago. I was privy to hear some of the songs in advance and I’m proud to have guided him a bit along the way with my sage JM advice ;). (That was when I was still “into” Jewish Music.) So when the tape came out, I was reluctant to listen since I was kind of bored of the songs. But when I finally gave it my time of day, I was pleasantly shocked how beautiful the end product was. Of course, listening to a raw amateur recording and listening to a finished product is of no comparison, and therefore I was so pleased that the CD is truly “music to my ears.”

Yumi brings with him the temimus and enthusiasm of the true out of towner, while still sounding so perfectly heimish you’d swear he’s a homegrown Brooklyn product. His voice is sweet and heartzig. The buzz about the CD is very positive so far. The songs are all easily singable yet unique, and Yumi definitely puts a lot of gefeel into them. It was produced by Gideon Levine and you can sense his touch on the songs. Being a Gideon Levine product, it naturally comes with an interactive program you can play on your computer, with a really cute music video, in which you can see a lot of the breathtaking Melbourne scenery and some comical moments too. It was a lot of fun to watch.

On to the songs:

1. Verou

I wasn’t crazy over this song at first but it did grow on me. The words are unusual; I have never heard them used before. It’s from Devorim, which explains why I never heard them before ;). It’s your typical lebedige album opener. Composed by: Gideon Levine and Eli Laufer. I’d only rate this song an 8.

2. Nachpeso

I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard the raw version. The finished version is – wow. It’s composed by Gideon Levine. Yumi does a truly wonderful job with this – true heart and gefeel, matching the possuk very well. It’s probably my favorite slow song on the album. I rate this a full 10.

3. Torah Harbeh

The title track of the album, this is the Middle Eastern style hora that every album these days has to have :). This is also a song that I loved from the first listen. It’s great. It’s lebedig and perfect for wedding hora sets. I love the music and the tune and it’s very well done, including a key change at the end. Another perfect 10.

4. Shov Lochem

When I first heard the song I thought the first few bars were the same as the opening of “Racheim.” But open listening to the whole song I saw that it’s not quite Rachem, although it’s really gorgeous. It’s a very heartzig song. Now whenever I say the Shir Hamaalos I have another song to “sing” to - -the Shir Hamaalos are becoming more and more filled with popular songs :). Composed By Eli Laufer. Gideon Levine guest stars in the song, and it’s amazing to note that Yumi and Gideon indeed have pretty similar voices. There’s a bit of really pretty piano arrangements, which I always love. This song gives you the feel of those old-time MBD style songs – really beautiful. Yumi does amazing harmony to Gideon’s melody. Gorgeous song. Another 10.

5. Oleinu

This is a perfect wedding dance, and I have a feeling it’s gonna be picked up for chasidishe weddings because it has a Yiddish verse in it. Composed by Gideon Levine. I rate it a 8.

6. Invei

Composed by Yitzy Waldner. As someone already pointed out, this song is extremely similar to Hinei Mah Tov from Shwekey. It’s the type of song that reminds you of many other songs. It’s still a pretty good one and I won’t be surprised if it becomes picked up as a wedding hora. It has some cute rapping in the middle and I love the music. But I am not crazy over it so I’ll give it a 6.5.

7. Mizmor

I was privy to hear this as an amateur recording with only Yumi’s voice and I loved it from the first minute. It’s a song chock full of heart and gefeel, and it makes you truly appreciate this kapitel tehillim which is also zemiros on Shabbos morning. Yumi composed this song himself. Song gets a 9.

8. Shuvu

I am surprised that this is a Yishai Lapidot song; it’s so not his type of song. He usually composes fast and beaty songs. This is a kind of slow-but-not-very-slow song, if you know what I mean. Yumi’s vocal abilities come out very strongly in this song because he sings very softly at first and goes up high at the second part. It’s a pretty song, not one of my favorites, more of your typical fare… I give it a 7.5.

9. Koili

Composed by Yitzy Waldner, Chilid Soloist: Yossi Brisk Nice heartzig slow song, although the beginning is a little too slow and tedious for my taste. Yumi does an admirable job as usual putting his whole neshama into the song. The child soloist has a beautiful and clear voice and adds a lot to the song. I rate it a 7.

10. Keitzad

Nice lebedig song to finish an album off with. Yumi seems to like wedding songs :). This is composed by Yitzy Waldner. I rate it a 7.

11. Instrumental of Mizmoir, played by Yumi. By the way, Yumi is an accomplished wedding musician/singer in Melbourne.

To sum it up, this album has definitely exceeded my expectations and I really hope Yumi does well and soon becomes a household name. Judging by the feedback so far, he is well on his way!

P.S. I’m sorry this review isn’t as up to snuff as my old reviews, but considering that I’ve been really under the weather physically and emotionally I really tried to give it my best shot.

Comments on this review can be left below.


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