Tuesday, August 24, 2004

V'Ishay Yisroel (Eli Gerstner)

Artist’s web site: Eli Gerstner.com

Album can be previewed/purchased at Mostly Music.com

Reviewer: Mindy

I admit it took me a long time to like this album, but now, I definitely like it. Yipes! (to quote Martin Bodek) D’you think if I’d be hockin’ with Eli Gerstner over IM, I’d be waxing philosophical about this cd? I honestly don’t know…. lol,,,

Here is my shortish review, for the people who are anxiously waiting for it in order to determine whether it pays to purchase this album:

The nice part of this tape is that Eli composed the songs himself and arranged many of them too. Instead of a collection of songs composed by 7 different people and arranged by 3 others, it was all basically Eli’s work, and therefore the songs are consistent and reflect his musical ideas.

The background choir consists of Eli, Yaakov Gifter and Avi Katz (I could make out some of his high harmonies at times, and they’re AMAZING!). Donny Baitner, Elchonon Majeski, and Avi Schachter also did some background vocals. I wish I’d know which voice is Elchonon’s! But it’s impossible to differentiate between them.

1. V’Ishay Yisroel
My favorite fast song on the album (tied with Siman Tov). I definitely love the sound of this selection. It’s another “Yehay”-like song – a rock song, but with more taam than Yehay. I do have a slight question as to whether this passuk warrants a rock song rather than a slow heartzige number, but I like this song very much nevertheless. I like the cool shtick of slowing the song down towards the end. For some weird reason, the beginning of the song reminds me of a secular song, (one of the few secular songs that I know) the name of which escapes me, but I think it’s called “The Dancing Queen” (“Friday night when I’m all alone….”) The music is on this is very full, very solid. It gives one a feeling of wanting to get up and dance. I rate this song a full 10.

2. Ki Shaim HaShem
This is a very beautiful slow song. It’s quintessential Eli Gerstner. It tends to be predictable at times, but maybe that’s what’s so nice about it, the fact that it’s so singable and easy to master. Eli does a magnificient job at slow songs, both composing and singing them. He goes up a chord, or key, or whatever you wanna call that (modulation? I donno, somone help me! lol) at the end of the song. It’s a nice song, I’d rate it an 8.

3. Yehi Ch’vod
I don’t like this song too much. The tune is nothing special; I don’t think this should’ve been the 3rd song on the album. As I said, Eli does slow and rock songs much better, and this is a fast song. I rate it a 5. It’s my least favorite song on the album.

4. Av Harachamim
This is another stunning slow song. If you like Shwekey’s Av Harachamim, you’ll like this one even more. There’s a child soloist on it, Yehuda Davis. Any relation to Yossi Davis of MBC? He does a great job with the low parts but becomes a little too screechy at the high parts. I love the tune of it. It’s thought-provoking and heartzig. There is some very cool digital-modification towards the end which makes the song pretty unique. I rate it a 10. It’s my favorite slow song of the album – a tie with Hillel Omer.

5. Yismechu
I personally don’t like this one too much but fans of “swing” (Gedaliah?) will like this one. There is a kiddie voice in the choir this time, I think it’s Davis again. I’d rate this one a 6.

6. Siman Tov
Excellent rock song, another great Yehay-type song. My favorite on the album, tied with V’Ishay Yisroel. This song makes the album – a perfect Eli Gerstner rock style song. It has some cool shtick in it which you have to hear to enjoy – some computerized voice fare and rapping and stuff. I rate it a 10.

7. M’ain Olam Habo
Yet another nice slow Eli Gerstner song. This would make for a nice Friday night kumzitz zmiros song. There are nice harmonies on it. There’s some electric guitar shtick on it, and Eli moves up a key or two (or whatever you call it) at the end. Not my favorite song, but very nice. I’d rate it an 8.

8. Ki L’cho
A fast song, nothing spectacular. Predicable, and singable, a good filler song. Nothing negative to say about it either, so I’d rate it a 6.

9. Hillel Omer
For the life of me I can’t figure out why this song is 9th on the album. It should’ve been 7th. But then again all the slow songs on this album are just beautiful. I love all 4 of them. This one ties for my favorite, along with Av Harachamim. The tune is really good. It starts with a capella and the song has some good choir work in it, along with the Eli-style “na na na”s which are his trademark. The odd thing is that this passuk could’ve been a nice rock song, since many mishnas make great rock tunes, as we can see from Yeedle’s albums. But Eli chose to make this a heartzig slow song, and it’s beautiful. Another resounding 10.

10. Eretz Yisroel
This is an English song. The lyrics were written by Eli. It’s waaay too fast, and the song totally reminds me of the English song on Mendy Wald’s first album. The tune is even similar. But it’s not bad as English songs go. Since I’m an ardent anti-Zionist some of the lyrics in the song just don’t jive with me, but it has a great message to it. I’d rate it another 7.

This tape rates an 80/100, which is pretty good. No hidden or bonus tracks on this cd. What you see is what you get.

I hope my review gave you a shtickel picture of the album, and more people will buy it now!

~ M!ndy

Comments on this review can be left below.


Blogger A.K. said...

This Album is an Excellent Album. I recommend it to all.

December 22, 2005 at 5:38 PM  

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