It was this incessant complaining that first drew my attention to the Blogosphere. While Googling for reviews of my band, I became aware of an ongoing kvetchfest between MOChassid and another Blogger named Velvel regarding the sad state of Jewish Music and their particular disdain for a genre that MO termed “Shiny Shoe Music.” I found myself agreeing with many of his points, although I suspect that there are more than a few of my own projects that would earn a place on his "hit" list.
But MO wasn’t content to just hock a chinek. He decided to do something about it, first through a series of concerts at his shul, Aish Kodesh, featuring the types of performers whom he felt represented the direction Jewish Music should be going, and then through the release last year of his first album, U'Shmuel B'korei Sh'mo.
With the release of his second album, K’Shoshana, MO is proving himself a force to be reckoned with in the Jewish Music industry. I’d plug this album for no other reason than to support a fellow blogger in his attempts to bring integrity and soul back into an industry that seems derailed by shmaltzy/cheesy/glitzy/computer-processed/homogenized/70’s Cop Show/disco/boy-band blandness.
But it helps that this happens to be a really good album, featuring two of my favorite people in the world, Aron Razel and Shlomo Katz (I’m not dissing Chaim Dovid; I’ve never had the privilege to play with him). Razel’s arrangements of 10 of Reb Shlomo Carlebach’s previously unreleased songs are clean and pleasing to the ears, and although Razel’s usual ingenuity is somewhat subdued to avoid overshadowing Carlebach’s material, it is still eminently present. Also present is the spirit of the late Reb Shlomo, A”H, whose legacy has been passed on to these three great performers. Katz, Razel, and Dovid each have quite different vocal styles, and yet they complement each other well through harmony and performance.
This album comes highly recommended and makes a great Channuka gift. In fact, I think I’m going to buy a copy for my own Rebbe, as this may be that one elusive album that the both of us can enjoy.
And don’t forget that my own Rock of Sages makes a great gift for that special, hard to please music lover.