Monday, January 15, 2007

Mendy Wald’s Echod

This is a typical old-school Jewish music album. When I write old school, I’m referring to Wald, Shloimy Dachs, Avrumie Flam, Yisroel Williger and other singers that aroused in the 90’s and are still around. And when I say typical I mean that this album has few good songs and the rest are just fill-ins.

Echod is a techno song composed by Yossi Green and evidently arranged by Ron Tichon. Tichon is the foremost arranger of techno songs in Jewish Music today and he is not bad at it. I like the contemporary sound of his arrangements, but they are not very intricate in general. This three-part song is different than usual because the range of the notes sung is small (as you all know, JM songs typically have one very low part and one very high part), forcing Wald to improvise a little more than he’s used to. If you listen carefully you can hear Yossi Green’s classic choir in the middle of the song, but YG apparently wasn’t very involved in the vocal arrangements this time. I just kind of didn’t like the way the song ended, I thought it was too abrupt and Tichon’s closing of the song was unimpressive. Other than that, Echod is great.

Regarding the second song, Tzaddik, one thing comes right away to any listener’s attention. The song starts ok but the high part is Anachnu Ma’aminim bnei Ma’aminim, yes, the exact same words of MBD’s hit song. After listening countless times to MBD’s Ma’aminin song in weddings, radios and iPod’s the last thing I want to hear is another Ma’aminim song. Because of that, Tzaddik is a complete flick to me. Is it too hard to find other lyrics in Torah, Nach and Guemora instead of Ma’aminim? Even more so, why place it as the second song of the album? If it would be the album’s last song, this would be more acceptable but as it is, Tzaddik is a disaster.

Ve’seorev is a great composition of Boruch Levine, one of my favorite composers. Levine originally composed slow songs for Yehuda! and, in opinion, he always excels in slow songs (he also came out with a solo album a few months ago – to be reviewed…). What stands out in this song is the softness of Wald’s voice, specially when he sings the word “shchinoscho” and although this is for the credit of the composer, I was impressed by how Mendy was able to make it sound special. I once spent a shabbos with Mendy and everyone is always amazed by his powerful and strong voice, and rarely you will hear someone saying that Mendy’s voice is soft. But after hearing this song I came to the conclusion that Mendy became a much more versatile singer in the past few years.

Marbe was composed by a friend of Mendy and it’s more about his friendship with this guy than good music. The first and second part of the song sound very alike and there nothing special about the song, arrangement or the guest singer (the composer).

Mi Yaleh is a three-part song originally released in JJ Fried’s niggun album 5 or 6 years ago and it was reintroduced in this album. The other songs are just fill-ins.


Anonymous said...

I really liked Yesimcha, the last song, and Zechor is decent. I wouldn't consider them "fill-ins", they are much better then the average

Good review tough

zevy g

Anonymous said...

Mendy Wald has no future in the industry anymore.
The new guyz, like gabay and the groups like shalsheles rule now.

Anonymous said...

I cant disagree with you more not to even mention yesimcha is a travesty did u really listen to this cd?

Anonymous said...

If gabay went 2 voice lessons 4 100 years his voice wouldnt come near walds

YK said...

"I cant disagree with you more not to even mention yesimcha is a travesty did u really listen to this cd?"

- I'm assuming you directed your post to Anonymous #1, since I never said Yesimcha was good. BTW, what do you exactly mean when u say Yesimcha is a travesty?
"If gabay went 2 voice lessons 4 100 years his voice wouldnt come near walds"

- Well, they've different types of voices. Wald's very unique and he is a very experienced singer. Gabay debuted in JM recently and altough he's well couched and on tune, he still has room to improve. But I can bet he will be in the same level Mendy is in a few years, but as of now, I agree with you - wald is a step above.


Anonymous said...

YK U totally missed what i was trying 2 say. Not to mention yesimcha while reviewing the album is a travesty since its one of the nicest songs in a long time and having spoken to alot of people this is the general concensus. Also mi yalleh is gorgeus and just bcuz it was on some obscure record is no reason 4 wald not to sing it

YK said...

Hey Mr Anonynmous,

Your post was a little ambigous, but I now get what you meant.

Mi Yaleh, it's actually one of my all-time favorite songs from Wald, I loved it the first time I heard it - over 6 years ago. I didn't criticize the fact that Wald reintroduced this song now - I agree with you that it makes sense to reintroduce it now since JJ Fried's album didn't sell well. I just didn't feel like comenting this song since I heard it so long ago.

To tell you the truth, I slightly changed my opinion regarding Yesimcha since I wrote the review. After listening countless times to the song in my car, I kind of got used to it and I think it's listenable. But I beg to differ with your claim that this is one of the best songs in a long time. The low part is nice and original, but I think the lyrics don't fit in well in the second part of the song and Wald has to keep repeating the words. A great song is a song that has a great low part and a great high part, and I don't think that's the case here.

By the way, I think the best thing in Yesimcha is Wald's improvisation of the low part at 3:08. As I said he improved a lot over the years. That's part of the reason why my rating of Yesimcha today is ** instead of *. You are obviously entitled to disagree.