It’s hard to quantify Yitzy Spinner’s new single Shekel, released just before Pesach.
It doesn’t sound like typical Jewish music.
But it doesn’t have that “I’m trying to kosherize pop/rock/rap/pick-your-favorite-genre music by adding Hebrew lyrics” either.
What does it sound like?
In a word (or two) it sounds like incredibly awesome music.
My apologies. That was three words. But neither incredible nor awesome alone was enough to describe Shekel, seven plus minutes worth of musical excellence from someone who is arguably one of the most talented members of the Jewish music business. Having studied music for twenty six years (quite a feat considering how old Spinner actually is), with ten solid years of vocal training under his belt, a college minor in music, as well as having a graduate degree from Yeshiva University’s Belz School of Music, Spinner is not just someone who dabbles in music. A professional chazzan, who oversees his own music production company, an audio engineer, a board member of the Cantorial Council of America as well as being a composer and a performer and more, Spinner is the real deal.
But I digress. Let’s get back to Shekel. An original Spinner composition, Shekel is just bursting with musical goodness, starting from the truly magnificent piano intro, alternately hopeful and triumphant. It really isn’t appropriate to call Shekel a song, because it is more than that. It is a “piece”, featuring words so rarely said that I had no idea where they were from, (Yotzros for Parshas Shekalim, for those who were wondering), set off perfectly by music that echoes the feel of the words.
Of course, no matter how talented you may be, you have to be smart enough to surround yourself by even more talent if you want your project to fly. Shekel includes background vocals by both Spinner and the very talented Mike Boxer, musicians Eran Asias, Yaron Gershovksy, Oz Noy and Conrad Korsch. Wrapping up the entire package and polishing it to perfection is the dream team of Avi Newmark and Ian Freitor who, once again, show that they really know how to keep Jewish music fresh and exciting.
Best of all? Shekel is being sold as a 99 cent single, making it not just a great piece of music, but an affordable one as well.
We can only hope that Shekel is just the first of many more singles to be released by Spinner. Download it now on iTunes.