Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pruzbul Review

Here it is Pruzbul’s review, sorry for taking such a long time to write it. To avoid bias, I haven’t read anyone else’s review.

The production is by Yitzi Bald, who also played a large role in Dovid Gabay's album not long ago. Like in Gabay’s album, where he composed a song called LeGabay, Bald repeats the shtick with Pruzbul, in a reference to Pruzanski. Ok…
I don’t like Bald’s choice of lyrics. In Taseh, Shteig and Pruzbul the lyrics are very simple and somewhat vague. The same happened in Gabay’s LeGabay (“When he does work of the day he is quick”)– vague lyrics. While I welcome his quest for new lyrics, I think either the composers should find lyrics that actually say something (like Yossi Green does) or they should compose the lyrics themselves. “Do Mitzva, get Olam Haba” is not good enough. Anyways..:

In Taseh, the choir is Mo Kiss times 20 (Yossi Green style) but I prefer the "fuller" sound of real choirs. Mo Kiss does a good job responding to Pruzanski but I thought he overdid it a bit. When the song started to get cool with Mo Kiss' choir shtick in 3:25, a guy speaking Yiddish comes in. I don't like it. But it seems to be a trend - Shloime Gertner did the same in the first song of his album Nisim. I felt the arrangement is not smooth throughout the song; the intro sounds like my own arrangements I make in GarageBand, which is not much of a compliment. However, Pruz does a outstanding job, especially when he sings the low part in a higher octave - breathtaking! ***

What didn't work for Bald (the arranger) in Taseh, worked in the next song Shteig. The arrangement builds up and the song keeps getting momentum. The best part is on 2:40, in Mo Kiss' choir. Good song, great arrangement and superb singing by Pruz. Not bad! ****

In You're Watching Me, we can finally hear Pruz alone, alongside with the piano. The arrangement is simple, but very fitting for this song. Pruzanski carries the song very well, and throws in a beautiful falsetto in 2:06 and great harmonies towards the end of the song, starting in 6:23. The song is good, but not a blockbuster. ****

The album theme song is Pruzbul. I must admit I was expecting lyrics a la Yossi Green, that is, something like the whole Pruzbul nusach or a special pshat about the importance of Pruzbul from an obscure Hakdama. That's not the case here - the lyrics are "Help to fix the world. Hillel did it with Pruzbul". Aside from this lyrics issue, the music is energetic and catchy. Pruzanski does a great job improvising at 3:15. ****

It's easy to realize that Chavivin is not composed by Bald. It's a typical Yitzy Waldner song, with a pop feel. Throughout the song Mo Kiss did a great job with the soft background harmonies. At the end of the song, you can hear the cutest baby laugh ever. Very nice song. ****

Brocha is not in the same level as the previous songs, but it's decent. ***

Ashira is not from one Yossi Green's best compositions, but thumbs up for Pruzanski for making this average song sound good. Perhaps is time for Yossi Green to produce Pruzanski's next album - in his first album Pruz did a fantastic job singing Green's "Da" and he did it again here. Come on Yossi! ****

Hu is a creative song composed by Bald. I don't have much else to write about it. ***

Since Shwekey just came out with his Yizkereim (which, by the way, was taken from Coby), I didn't get too excited about this one. But when Pruz sings the English lyrics the song gets more interesting. ***

V'lo is a three-part that doesn't really flies. The song is weird, the arrangement is confusing and the ending is very poor. Even Pruzanski couldn't make this sound at least decent. *

→ Overall, this album’s production wasn’t as good as the first one – Ashrecho, a state-of-the-art album produced by Yochi Briskman and directed by Eli Laufer. Pruzbul is more economical, but it’s not a flick. Pruzanski is one of the best soloists out there and has the skill to make almost any song sound great, with great intensity, harmonies and improvisation skills. MoKiss is a great choir arranger - this is the first time I heard his work. I think everyone in this album tried very hard to produce good music with the resources they had at hand. Bald's songs are simple for the most part, but catchy and well sung. Worth my money.