SPLASHNEWS- Review of Avraham Fried, “Keep Climbing”

Articles, General, Reviews — By on March 1, 2012 2:24 pm

 

SPLASHNEWS- The album that we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. It’s not often that two super stars release their albums at the same time, but it just happened. This album was years in the making as is quite evident from the quality of the album. Featuring 13 songs in all different styles, this CD has something for everyone. Everyone knows that Fried’s voice is unreal but what really hit me in this album is his ability to adjust his voice to the specific style and emotions of each song. That to me is what makes this album a masterpiece. Produced by Avraham himself, this album arrived with a bang and is here to stay. Here is what I think of the songs. Many songs were arranged by Yuval Stupel; I will note if not.

1-Hofachta- Composed by Fried together with Yitzy Waldner, this song will be an instant hit and if you are looking for “that” song, this might just be it. Exciting intro, but not too much, leads into a fast paced thumping song. Interestingly, there is an Irish interlude at 2:52. I would have liked to hear more of the high-harmony that he does on the high part a couple times but even without that, this song did it for me. 5 out of 5 stars

2-Yehalelu- This song, also by Waldner & Fried, is a waltz and pleasant to listen to. I just can’t figure out when this song can be sung. Maybe as a dinner song? I will leave this song unrated as I don’t really understand waltz’s, but you could tell me what you think.

3-Vezakeini- Composed by Yossi Green, I know many of you will say how can he dare put out another Vezakeini?! When I first saw it, I thought it would be a fast song because it is right after a slow song, but he went two in a row. Sounds nothing like the song by Baruch Levine and I guess that’s a good thing. For those Kallah’s that insist on walking down to Vezakeini, now you have two options. Arranged by Moshe Laufer. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

4-Ein Kelokeinu- This is a fast Yeshivishe style song that could have been the opening track. It is also a three part song with the main high as the more intense part but switches to the less upbeat third part. This creates a well rounded song that doesn’t get boring. Great chasunah potential. Composed by Meshulam Greenberger. 4 out of 5 stars

5-Retzoneinu- Guess who composed this one? Yes, Yitzy Waldner. For those that miss the Fried songs of old, this one is for you. Starts off in the chazzanus style that Fried loves and he really displays his voice nicely at 1:49. It also features a kids choir that does a great job and at 3:57 the mens choir harmonizes over them which creates a gorgeous affect. This song is stunning and you may have to listen to it a couple times to learn it but it is worth it.With a group that knows what they are doing, this can be the kumsitz song that will take over. Personally, this is my favorite song and when I listen to the melody while thinking about the words, I get the chills from it. Arranged by Moshe Laufer, featuring Shraga Gold’s Shira Choir. 5 out of 5 stars

6-Kach Es Sheli– Starts off with heavy guitar riffs and the music gives the first low a sense of urgency. This song is not an original song, but that’s okay in my books as long as it’s not well known. The song also features great contrast between the low and the high parts. Exciting bridge at 3:28. Composed and arranged by Yuval Stupel, originally recorded by Yisrael Parnes. 3 out of 5 stars

7-Keep Climbing- The title track is a typical Avraham Fried english song composed by himself. It features a good message and great arrangements by Avremi G. The highlights for me were at 3:47 while singing the word climb, he literally climbs with his voice to heights rarely heard on this album. Also towards the end of the song on the words, “where you want to go” there is really good falsetto harmony. I don’t like how he transitions from low to high, but that is obviously how he wanted it. 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

8- Amein– Also starts with heavy electric guitar. This song, composed by Mendy Gerufi, is a typical Yeshivishe song and features a very interesting musical interlude at 2:29 that I don;t even know how to explain, so I won’t! This song can go both ways, either it will become popular, or we will never hear it again. 2 1/2 out of 5 stars

9-Lomoh Hashem– Starts with acoustic guitar, percussion, and possibly harmonica but I doubt it. In general this is a very pleasant song to listen to and I particularly like the non-typical arrangements. One part that I listened to a couple times is at 4:04 where his voice fades out and almost breaks but I think it’s to contrast with the transposition. I’m not sure if I agree with choice of lyrics, asking why from Hashem but as is evident from the album jacket, he also wasn’t sure about it but apparently he decided to go through with itComposed by Fried and arranged by Ruli Ezrachi. 4 out of 5 stars

10- Sharei Mizrach- A horah that is sure to become a hit. Expect to hear it at  the next chasunah that you attend. As he writes in the jacket, “what’s an album without a good horah?” It sounds almost like a dig a Shwekey’s new album that doesn’t have even one horah, but of course it’s not! It is ironic though. Composed by Elimelech Blumstein and arranged by Ruli Ezrachi, also featuring the Shira Choir. 4 out of 5 stars

11-Elokai– This song features an all acoustic intro and is the second song with the nostalgic Fried feel. One highlight is at 3:06 where the choir sings the high part and gives a slightly Chassidishe feel to it. Very nice, solid song. Composed and arranged by Moshe Laufer. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

12-Light– Both the intro and the low part have a sudden start which I like because it is something I am not used to and I always like something new. The song also features a very interesting bridge at 2:35. From the lyrics to the music, this is something you have never heard before. It is worth listening to this just for the arrangements, although it doesn’t take a genius to realize that they are not your regular. Great job by Yitzy Waldner, with Ilya Lishinsky on the arrangements. 4 out 5 stars

13-Heimoh Heimoh– This is a Lipa Schmelzer classic and has been out there for a little while but will now become super popular with it being featured on this album. When I first heard the intro, all I was able to say was, “what?!” Then I had to listen to it again before listening to the rest of the song. You will probably do the same. In the beginning the song doesn’t sound so exciting but at 2:35 it really picks up the pace and can get you up and dancing. Make sure you are not driving. The song seemingly ends at 3:35 but then takes a 360 degree turn and then spins around again at 3:52 for the ending. Not for the faint of heart. Please keep all hands and feet in until the ride comes to a complete stop. Respect for Naftuly Moshe Schnitzler who arranged this masterpiece but there is no way that Lipa was not involved! This should become an instant hit which means… 5 out of 5 stars

Congrats to those who made it to end of the review. All in all, this album, while it does not feature any major breakthroughs, is an excellent album from top to bottom.  It has three songs that I rated 5 star and I do not do that often. Even the weaker songs are great songs and a lot of time was obviously spent on this album. Overall, I rate this album 5 out of 5 stars which means be careful not to spill your drink in your rush to get out.          

 

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22 Comments

  1. fan says:

    you can download it at amazon for $8.99

  2. avrami says:

    Nice review, just a few comments,
    1. The song Ein Kelokeinu is composed by Meshulam Greenberger not Yitzy Waldner, and its a fantastic song.
    2. Although you rated this album a 5 out 5 and i totally agree with, but you mention that “while it does not feature any major breakthroughs” that’s where i disagree with, this album features stuff never heard before, and its from the best or THE best album that came out in a few years.
    Nice review

  3. Meir says:

    SplashNews,
    Listening to the title track, I was struck by how the song builds from low to high in a nearly constant projectile manner. Quite literaly, the song “keeps climbing”. The symbolism is pure Fried who always makes it a point to put lyrics to a tune that is appropriate for those words.
    Meir

  4. Music Lover !! says:

    Great Review !
    I couldn’t agree more………
    Anything that Avremel puts out is an instant hit.
    If the song is not the greatest, he just makes it up with everything else & becomes such a stunning piece – between his voice, harmony & of course such perfect singing.

    If I may add, no one else in Jewish music puts out such quality productions like Fried does. Period.
    So up to date but yet still Yiddish !! Kudos !!

    He never disappoints !!! Keep on rocking !!!!

  5. Mr Google says:

    Avremel’s voice is so strong, it’s really something to behold, we should appriciate it now while we can, and remind ourselves we no longer have that classic MBD voice. CD has a LOT of bright spots, but I am a little disappointed that 3 of these songs are redos.

    a) Elokai – its cool to hear Avremel sing this classic, but Dudu’s is pretty amazing, as is Benny Friedman’s which I heard sing at OHEL and was so perfect.

    b) Heimah – Lipa/Ginsburg song, if there was just ONE redo then maybe, but when there are 3, I don’t understand this addition

    c) Kach is actually another redo, composed by Yuval for Yisrael Parnes, its on his 2004 album under the name Ribono Shel Olam.

    Maybe thats why its so cheap on Amazon ;-)

  6. Shmuli says:

    B”H

    The unfamiliar cracking in AF’s voice is a skill that he has been developing for years. Its a beautiful and subtle way to break the listener’s heart. Lomo taamod berachok is a fine time to cry one’s eyes out. I love it!!

  7. Yehuda says:

    What do people have against covers? It’s great to hear a different artist’s adaptation of a song, especially when they are great songs being covered by great artists, which is what we have here.

    In the secular world, covering songs is commonplace. One of Whitney Houston’s most popular songs is a cover of “and I will Always Love You.” Why is it that on this – and other Jewish music sites – we always hear from people who need something NEW?

    In essence, these songs are new anyway, how many people heard Kach es sheli? When has anyone heard Elokai sung like this?

    Even with the covers, there are still 10 original songs. What a “disappointment.”

  8. Sara says:

    Is Heimoh originally a Lipa song? I remember it being on Nonstop Lipa but I thought I saw that it was on someone elses album and I’m curious to find out who because I like this song alot. Anybody know?

  9. google says:

    Yehuda, in general I have nothing against covers, I actually love them. Ben Snufs Im Eshkochach, Fried Rak Tefilah, Benny Friedmans Mi Shemaamin. But for the most part covers should be free singles, or done at concerts.

    When I say disappointed I mean, when hearing there are 13 new Fried songs after a 6 year break I was VERY excited. And then finding out it’s actually only 10 new songs, there is sure to be some disappointment.

    Don’t get me wrong though, this CD is still awesome. Just wish it would have been 13 NEW songs.

  10. Amrom says:

    3 points:
    This is not a Chazak album but still an awesome album.
    Track #10 is the best song ive heard in a while and its worth to buy the album just for that song!
    Its a song where you roll down your car windows with the music the loudest possible.
    And to poster #5 (Mr google) that’s great knoledge, i appreciate, im surprised how good you remember/memorized the 3 redos.

  11. Zack says:

    Tweet And Get $1 Amazon MP3 Credit!
    Use this link to get $1 off Avraham Fried’s New CD
    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/20184
    That’s only 7.99!

  12. Issy says:

    Reply to Mr. Google.
    Look at it this way.
    You get 10 NEW songs from the one & only plus 1 or 2 great songs that you probably never even heard just remener that their old songs.
    The last track – Heima, yes it’s more of a famous song BUT, there is a whole new twist to the song!
    A twist that really gives this song New & Fresh sound.

    When someone like Avraham Fried comes out with a CD, it’s very hard to compare any of his CD’s.
    They are all blockbusters in their own right !

    He’s got it all.
    He can make you jump to the roof with simcha & he can make you cry & give you the chills……….

    He’s unbeatable & compareable !!!

    The CD’s is GREAT – I can’t get enough of it !!!!

    On my part he can come out with a full CD with all old songs.
    He just has that special touch & Neshama…..AMAZING !!!

  13. Yankel says:

    Heima is a smack masterpiece. Can’t sit still. But please give credit where credit is due. Sruli Ginsberg had is on Oz yiboka.

  14. isaac says:

    bottom line, we didn’t wait 6 years for nothing. Need to appreciation while other older yoddish singers are fading away Avramel is only getting stronger! Just a bit disappointed that the FIRE song from 8 day was not on it (as fried promised it will be at 1 of his concerts I attended) but no doubt this will be a hit as it is already. KEEP CLIMBING

  15. AF fan says:

    Track 12 one minute 44 seconds in he sings the word me’at.. the note is the VIII instead of the VII and the chord is an VIImadd9 instead of VII(m) its my favorite part of the CD he has so many of these ‘small’ kneitchis the production quality is amazing!!

  16. shmuel says:

    fired thx so much listing to this cd 11 times already in my opinion fried has the best voice in Jewish music history and i think hes voice will be great till the 120 iy”h keep climbing !

  17. BennyM says:

    This album is definitely a masterpiece. It’s amazing how Avraham’s voice is as good as ever. The songs are mostly great and music is really polished.

    Was worth the wait.

  18. Binjel says:

    I actually like that Avremel is not trying to outdo himself but focusing on producing a perfect album thats geshmak to listen to. Superb job, clean, classy. im really enjoying.
    One slight issue that irks me every time i listen on Keep Climbing track: “dont let NOTHING stand in your way” grammer is off, 2 negatives. should be dont let anything…. whatever.

  19. Yossi says:

    I am quite disappointed with this album. It is not a “hit”. There’s very little originality in the styles, the lyrics chosen are nothing to write home about and the compositions are weak.

    There’s nothing like “tanya”, or eliyahu hanovi (from We are Ready) or shabbos hi milizok, to name some of may favorites. What has happened to the talent in composing?

  20. Simcha Miller says:

    I purchased it the day it came out, and I love it. Hofachto is great. Yehalelu is the one I was anticipating from the preview, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’m not a big fan of Avremel’s English songs, I like a few (Don’t Hide From Me, Anachnu Muchanim, On Giants Shoulders). I love his Rendition of Elokai, and Light and Heimoh Heimoh are really fun. Definitely worth the buy.
    (I also cringe slightly at “don’t let nothing”)

  21. Zoltan says:

    Very strong album, and Avremel did it again, he is the BEST no dounbt, and live performance he is the KING.
    CHAZAK CHAZAK and Keep Climbing

  22. SayIDidIt™ says:

    Do you hear the ‘beep’?
    On song 8, Amein, at 00:02 seconds, there is a ‘beep’ that does not belong there! Or does it??
    Let me know what you think!

    SiDi™

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