Monday, October 16, 2006

CD Review - MoC's Baby

In the mail... "U'shmuel B'korei Sh'mo".

This is MoC's tribute to his dad, produced in memory of his father, Cantor Shmuel Ganz Z"L.

Here, MO Chassid posts a link to his article about the making of the CD. IMO, this type of article is the best kind of PR article and it works better than the bogus fluff churned out by the Brooklyn "JM" marketers like "Country Yossi" Magazine.

Here are reviews/comments by Seraphic Secret, A Simple Jew, DovBear, Orthomom, THE LIFE-OF-RUBIN BLOG, and Krum as a Bagel.

This is a nice concept. The CD is a good sampler of the type of music Mo C's shul, Aish Kodesh, has been featuring at their events. It's a good introduction to these artists for people unfamiliar with their work. All of the songs are appearing for the first time here, so it's a nice comp for fans of these artists as well.

The standout track on the album is definitely Yosef Karduner's "Ha'aleinu". Pure Karduner. The delayed lead guitar and vocals are a nice touch. Other excellent tracks include the Nochi Krohn Band's cover of Carlebach's "Melech Rachaman", and Aron Razel's "U'vamida". IMO, Shlomo Katz's vocals sound better here than on the excerpts I've heard of his own CD.

I liked Chaim David's melody for "Brach Dodi", but I'm not loving the arrangement. The faux-orchestral keyboard sounds in particular aren't working for me.

Aaron Razel's 'Yom Shabbason" sounds very familar. I can't place which melody I'm thinking of, but it definitely sounds like something specific I've heard before.

The lyrics on perhaps the two hookiest tracks aren't grabbing me. Avraham Rosenblum's performance of an upbeat "Im Eshkacheich" with mandolinist Andy Statman is energetic, but the words don't match the happiness of the tune. It seems an odd choice of lyric. Plus, Zevy Zions' accordion isn't featured. A shame. We need more accordion solos in contemporary Jewish music!!!

On the Nochi Krohn Band's song, "Tzeischem L'shalom", the many repetitions of various words, while groovy, seems to not connect to the meaning of the words. Contrast these repetitions with Eitan Katz's tune, "Kuma", where the repetition of the word "kuma" makes poetic sense. The track blends Tower of Power style lines with traditional shiny-shoe disco/rock, but sans huge horn section, ironically enough, given that both those sounds are typically horn-based. Naturally, these are the two tracks -- along with "The Ganz'e Tance" -- most likely to become popular on the simcha hit parade, I'd imagine. (Incidentally, I never use the term shiny-shoe music, as it doesn't grab me, but I'd be remiss in not using it here since MoC coined the term.)

There is some variation in recording/mix quality which is to be expected on this kind of compilation, but it occasionally jumps out. Ben Zion Solomon's track is most noticeable in this regard and is the definitely the odd man out on this recording being that it is neither an original composition , nor sonically in the same ballpark as the other tracks. It's nice for what it is, but it doesn't fit in with the others.

I'd have loved to see a track by Ari Boiangiu on this disc. I was given Ari's CD, "Rosh Ashmurot", recently, and his music is sympatico with much of what is on this CD. And, he's played at Aish Kodesh events.

Bottom line, this is a nice enjoyable CD of mostly acoustic J-folk rock. In short, Nakhes fun kinder!

Note: As an added bonus, when you buy this CD, it's yours. No "faux rental agreements" here!