Mendy Werzberger’s “Vaani S’filosi”


facebooktwittergoogle plus


Every once in a while an album comes out that really excites me more than a regular release. Of course, I am always looking for good new music, and new music by my favorite artists and performers, but that’s not what excited me with the recent debut album of Mendy Werzberger. Mendy is not famous (yet), and until recently I didn’t even know he was working on an album. While Mendy has been involved in projects before (The Unity and Copyright Project videos and the CD 2nd Dance for example), he was a virtual unknown to most of us. The songs on the album are not intricate songs and neither are the arrangements, but there is something about this album that transcends all that. Mendy is a composer of very pleasant songs, with a sweet voice who always had a dream of releasing an album, and he finally realized his dream! This alone was enough to get me to put my main focus on his release, even though it was released at the same time as other more hyped albums. Once I started listening to it, I couldn’t stop! For anyone looking for a pleasant and enjoyable new album to listen to, V’ani Tefilosi is for you!

Here are my song by song assessments:

V’ani Tefilosi- The album begins with its title track, a lebedik hora composed by Mendy and his brother Moshe, in collaboration with keyboard virtuoso Yitzy Schwartz, who also arranges the song along with Ruli Ezrachi. While Ruli is well known as an arranger, Yitzy is not, however the arrangements are expertly and tastefully done. The choir is led by up and coming Israeli arranger Yoel Dikman. This is a very pleasant song that blends Mendy’s voice very nicely with the choir and band. I have to point out one thing I love about this song (and the whole album in general) and one thing that I don’t love so much. I happen to love good bass lines, and there are some really nice ones on this song and all over the album. I don’t love the auto tune, but I understand it’s the style and rage nowadays so I can live with it, especially since it’s not overdone.

V’no- This song as a swing feel to it, but is really a mix between a swing and oompah song. Whatever style it is, this is a nice song! Co-composed by Mendy and Yitzy Schwartz, who also arranges it, and the backup vocals by the Zemiros Choir, under the able leadership of Yoel Polatseck, this song is a very calming song and one of my favorites on this album.

B’sheim Hashem- The first true slow song on the album, this rock ballad is my favorite song on the album. The actual composition by Mendy (with help from Yanky Katina) is breathtaking, and the arrangements by Eli Lishinsky and Nir Graff are masterful. Need I say more? I think not, but I will anyways. I don’t know who is the guitar soloist at 3:31 (there are a number of guitarists listed as playing on the album), but the solo caught my ear right away, and I replayed it over and over because it just takes the song to the next level.

Toda L’cha- This fun Hora was featured in a music video that came out a couple of months ago, and I loved it the first time I heard it. Listen to it, and it’s bound to have you dancing in your seat (like I am right now….you don’t want to know how it looks, but I can’t help myself). This song is composed by Mendy (as all the songs on the album are either partly or wholly composed by Mendy) and arranged by Yitzy Schwartz and Eli Lishinsky, who also does some of the background vocals as well.

Kol Z’man- Here is another rock ballad; this one is co-composed by the ultra talented Yitzy Waldner and Mendy. They also share the vocals on the song as well. The arrangements by Eli Lishinsky and Nir Graff are once again masterful. They have a way to make this song so easy to listen to, but at the same time drive so much energy into the song.

Eishes Chayil- Usually the masses would advise not placing 2 slow songs one after another. I applaud Mendy for not worrying about conventional thinking and for sharing his nicest songs with us in the manner he wants to! This song, a ballad composed by Mendy and Yitzy Schwartz, also starts very soft, but the arrangements build up more than the previous song. The trumpet and saxophone solos are very nice, as is the choir led by Eli Laufer. Yitzy Schwartz does a real fine job with the musical arrangements, and I especially like the ending.

Borei Olom- Anyone who knows my personal preferences already knows I am not into techno music. Saying that, this song is a very interesting mix that doesn’t only sound like it’s techno music. The song itself is a nice song, and I enjoyed it.  The choir and background vocals by choir master Shloime Kaufman add a lot to the song and overall arrangement of the song. I also must say that the musical arrangements of the song by Shai Bachar, while not my personal favorite style, are very well done. This is also the song where I pinpointed who Mendy sounds like: Shea Rubenstein.

Tzitzis- This is another beautiful Mendy W. and Yitzy Schwartz collaboration, with the choir directed by Yoel Dikman. The song starts with an oompah feel and transitions first to a disco beat and then into more of a funky beat, before going back to a disco beat. I really like the arrangements and intros on this song.

Mendy’s Instrumental- This is an interesting song that is completely instrumental (despite there being a choir mentioned on the credits). The song is composed solely by Mendy and arranged by Yitzy Schwartz. The style of the song has a Middle Eastern hora feel to it and also has some techno thrown in. This is a song I would expect to find on an album titled “Easy Listening” or “Relaxing Music”, which seems to be a theme on this album, and a good one for that!

Broken Hearts- Get out your box of tissues (or a hankie if you so desire) before listening to this song, because you will need it. With this song being in memory of Mendy’s recently deceased mother, there is understandably a ton of emotion dripping from every word of the song. Add to it Yitzy Schwartz’s arrangements (and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes more of a sought after arranger after this album) and Yitzy Spinner’s masterful background vocals (and Yitzy is an amazing talent who can transform anything he touches to greater heights) this is as powerful of a song as I’ve heard in long time!

Click Here for Original Source

Mendy Werzberger. This is the proof that you don’t have to be Shwekey or MBD to put out a killer album. Don’t get me wrong, Shwekey and MBD are awesome but once we have them we don’t need 5 other artists trying to sound like them. Mendy Werzberger definitely fits that criteria. Bringing a whole fresh new sound to Jewish music with his debut album “V’ani Tefilosi”. His voice is a breath of fresh air. If I had to compare him to another singer, I would say he’s a mix of Yeedle, and Mendy Wald who are very, very unique in their own way. But hey, as I said we’re not comparing here. He adds his own uniqueness to the table as well. With a very Hartzige voice, powerful at times , and softer at others, he actually blends very well with the music and sings with his neshama, like he means it, which is something you find very rarely among artists today. They should have changed the advertisement from “music you can feel” to “a voice you can feel”! I just love it! (Btw, I see him at Satmar in Monsey many times when I go to daven Shacharis there. He’s a great guy. Always bubbly and full of simcha! And usually humming a tune to himself. How appropriate for a singer.) He actually produced the album himself together with Yitzy Schwartz (The 2nd Dance, Yosef Chaim Shwekey, Srully Williger, etc.), and composed most of the album , which shows the extent of his musical talents and abilities. We’ve seen Mendy’s songs on a few other albums but he’s brought everything to a whole new level here. I have one question. Mendy, why is this your first album??? Anyways, lets get to the album itself before I get carried away.

Track 1: V’ani Tefilosi – Composed by Moshe Werzberger, Mendy Werzberger, and Yitzy Schwartz. Arranged by Ruli Ezrachi and Yitzy Schwartz. Choir by Yoel Dikman. The album starts off with a bang. Always good to start off with a mainstream song so as not to confuse the audience. Wait till later in the album to break out the other styles. Great classic Disco song. One thing I like a lot about this album is that besides the exquisite arrangements, you can hear everything that’s going on in the song individually, and the sound is awesome. Kudos to Eli Lishinsky who mixed the album and Alan Silverman who mastered it. Yes mastering an album is as crucial as mixing it. For those of you that don’t understand this, you can call up Aryeh Kunstler for a personal tutorial on that subject. Moving on……

Track 2: V’no – We start getting a little funky. The track starts off as a reggae groove and then switches to a regular oom- pah style towards the end. Kudos to Yoel Polatsek and the Zmiros choir for an awesome job on the choir. There’s one reason Mendy used them on this song…. Cause no one else can pull that off! Even if they tried hard. Really hard. Love it! Composed by Mendy & Yitzy.

Track 3: B’sheim Hashem –  The album takes a turn here as Eli Lishinsky gets involved in the arrangements. I’m not sure how Eli hasn’t put all the other arrangers, technicians,producers, and sound engineers in the industry out of business. Nir Graff helped out with the arrangements too.. It’s a Ballad/ R&B style track. Great original idea for an album. Composed by Mendy & Yanky Katina. I didn’t know that Yanky composed songs but hey, always learning new things. (Great guitar player btw,) Check out his solos on Lipa’s Mizrach song. Oh, and on Lipa’s Mizmor L’soda song too. Just Sayin’.

Track 4: Toda L’cha –  Undoubtedly the hit of the album. My third favorite song on the album. I don’t rate songs with stars btw. Its like asking someone to rate their kids with stars. A song is too complex to describe with a star. Sorry. Awesome S’fardi style song. Featuring Eli Lishinsky. Good idea Mendy. When you do something on an album that no one has done before you’re headed in the right direction. Composed by Mendy, with lyrics by Mendy & Ruli Ezrachi. Arranged by Yitzy Schwartz, and Eli Lishinsky. Post production and choir by Eli Lishinsky. Make sure to check out the music video of this track online. Can’t stop listening to this track.

Track 5: Kol Z’man –  My second favorite song on the album. Not sure how to classify the genre of this song but its awesome. Composed by Yitzy Waldner & Mendy. Featuring Yitzy Waldner. (Awesome voice btw!) Yitzy: Please come out with your own album very quickly. The world will be a better place when you do. And so will my life! (To tell you the truth, my life has taken a turn for the better since Mendy’s album came out). (Dont judge me!). Arranged by Eli Lishinsky and Nir Graff. This song is really good. ( Had to say that one more time. Lol!)

Track 6: Eishes Chayil –  An average ballad. Composed by Mendy & Yitzy. Arranged by Yitzy. Choir by Eli Laufer. Hi Eli. Haven’t heard from you in a while. Maybe you and your father could move to the USA so that all the artists who can’t afford to go to Israel can still have you guys work on their albums. You guys are legends!

Track 7: Borei Olam –  My absolute favorite song on the album. Its a Techno Dance song that gets you moving, with an awesome melody to it, and Mendy puts all of his neshama into this one so it doesn’t sound like many other techno songs in JM that sound like they’re cut and pasted from 100.3 (z100). Composed by Mendy. Arranged by Shai Bachar. Choir and background vocals by Shloime Kaufman. Great job Shloime! (Great singer btw. Check him out on AKA Pella 5. With Simcha Leiner. May as well pack it all in. No?) As much as I can’t stop listening to Track 4, I can’t stop listening to this song triple the amount!

Track 8: Tzitzis –  Really nice oom- pah song composed by Mendy and Yitzy. Arranged by Yitzy. Choir by Yoel Dikman. Cool name for a song! Lipa’s not the only guy who makes up cool track names. See?

Track 9: Mendy’s Instrumental/ Niggun –  Its exactly what it sounds like. A song composed by Mendy and arranged by Yitzy to a funky beat and music only. No vocals. Thanks Mendy. Nobody’s done this in like 400 years. I haven’t heard an original instrumental on a solo album in ages. Only instrumentals of another track on the album which had been done vocally already. Good thinking Mendy! This is one of the things that makes you unique and especially talented. Now, the credits say the choir was done by Yoel Dikman, but correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t hear any choir on this track. It may just be a printing mistake. Otherwise K+Z Creative did an awesome job on the cover design. They’re the best in the business! Anyone making an album should use them.

Track 10: Broken Hearts – A masterpiece. A work of art. This is an English song which I’m assuming is a tribute to Mendys mother who the album is dedicated to. The lyrics are heartfelt and touching and Mendy’s Neshama soars in it. Composed by Mendy and Yitzy. Yitzy outdid himself on the arrangements here. Gorgeous! And finally, a surprise: Yitzy Spinner does background vocals. HOW COOL! (Btw Yitzy: I’m waiting for your next album. 🙂 (Authors Note: Just wanna let everyone know: If you have any questions about music call up the multi talented Yitzy Spinner. He knows anything and everything about music. He’ll definitely hook you up!) Also, when you think the song is over don’t stop the CD. Listen carefully. The song goes on for about another minute and a half. Again, what a great song!

In short, please go out and buy 2 copies of Mendy’s album. because when all the distributors and CD printing presses go out of business due to the impossible demand of Mendys album and you give your copy to your close friend cause you feel bad that he doesn’t own one, don’t come complaining to me that you need another copy of it. Lol! Thank you Mendy for giving us such a gem and we’re all looking forward to Volume 2. I hope its on the way already. Peace out everyone!

Click Here for Original Source

Although this is Mendy’s first album, I have heard him on Mendy Wald’s album Echod and on the Unity song that was performed to support Sholom Rubashkin.

His voice is unique that it is thin and soothingly sweet and  it puts a person in a calm state. He is full of hartz and gefeel. Most of the songs were composed by him as well and that gives him more points if you’re keeping score!

The album starts off with V’ani Sefilosi and it sets the theme of the album which is about Tefilla in  the most part.  It’s a gorgeous song that gets better and better each time you listen to it. It’s medium speed, but it has an upbeat up tempo that is inspired by his voice.

One of the hits is the 4th song called “Todah” composed by Mendy and arranged by Yitzy Schwartz & Eli Lishinsky. It’s a Middle-East style Hebrew Hora sung in the Sefardic pronunciation about gratitude to Hashem about his chesed and emphasizes thanks to Hashem for giving us strength to  daven and for being able to overcome adversity.

Following Todah is “Eloikai Neshomo” – another hit because it is a great song and because it is sung with alternate solos by Yitzy Waldner who co-composed the song together with Mendy. They sound phenomenal together! The song is mid speed with a great beat and starts off a little similar to Michoel Streicher’s Eloikai Neshomo, but then quickly takes on its own identity. At he 1:47 mark he goes really high “Todah, Todah” – Mosuk K’Davash!

Another hit is Boirei Oilom –  the 7th song. A great upbeat techno song and the music is arranged by Shai Bachar and there are backup vocals by Shloimie Kaufman which adds a lot of flavor. Mendy puts his heart and soul, virtually his whole neshomo into the song as he beseeches Hashem “Rachamecha Yichmeru….” Just awesome!  At he 3:10 mark it repeats “kavanosi” over and over many times to teach us to the main thing is our intent. Reb Avigdor Miller zt’l said that if one puts in an intent to serve Hashem to his mitzva even if it’s not the sole intent, it still transforms the mitzva into something much more holy.

The 9th song is “Mendy’s Instramental” an original concept to compose a song without words and it’s in fact quite daring. Another unique factor is the main instrument  chosen is some type of flute that is hauntingly beautiful with just a touch of melancholy, but upbeat enough to not a person feel down. In fact , the style of the song is quite upbeat and optimistic and has some kneitchen of a chasiddishe nigun style while at the same time being techno – hora style.

The final song is a powerful slow English in memory of Mendy’s mother and will melt any heart – even a heart of pure stone. The song is enhanced by background vocals performed by the one and only Yitzy Spinner. There are certain parts that sound like an MBD song but Mendy is courageous enough to be his authentic self and not try to imitate MBD. He goes really high after the 5 minute mark.

To sum up, Mendy has treated us to something really special. When you buy it, you will find yourself listening to it over and over again.

Click Here for Original Source

No Response

Leave us a comment

No comment posted yet.

Leave a Comment