Judaism Alive – A Musical Odyssey is a musical project inspired by the book Judaism Alive written by Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn. The music is written and composed by Shlomo Einhorn and Yishai Mendelsohn. The Ep sounds like a journey by someone exploring and staying relevant with himself and his emotions as well as those listening to the music and lyrics. It better exposes us to the road of life we’re all travelling along, but sometimes don’t completely comprehend.
The songs in “Judaism Alive – A Musical Odyssey”, reawakens how tough and bitter life can be, “Life has beat you up, knocked you down again, To the ground…” And then tells us how we can cope by having faith and praying: “I Daven …..And all I feel is light inside, I Daven ….And make myself one again.” It challenges us to search beyond what we know: “How can you judge what you haven’t heard?” And then it gives us a sense of purpose: And my passion was stoked strong, And my vision went deep and long, My Judaism’s Alive, It’s pumping through my veins…” before it bids us farewell: “Living life, laughter and tears, Taking chances, these will be our best years…” The words are sharp and deep throughout, while the music is dynamic and compelling.
Judaism Alive – A Musical Odyssey displays through music and words just how exhilarating life can feel. How inspiring and elevating it can be if we just let it. Often we think that we should all be so lucky to connect with this feeling of absolute joy and harmony. The lyrics evidence that if this all sounds impossible, it is not. And that life can get better than it is. However to achieve this prosperity we need to at least have faith, live by some basic rules from our prayer book and learn from those who have lived before us. Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn along with Yishai Mendelsohn has crafted the song themes around empowering the Torah life, but these essential principles can be considered as imperative in any religion, culture or creed, if we are to truly improve our state of being.
The message in every song gently reels us in while the music and incredible, crystalline vocals uplifts our spirits with soaring melodies and persuasive arrangements. If you’re expecting austere or restrained traditional music, think again. Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn and Yishai Mendelsohn have tapped into modern pop sounds that could comfortably slip into any Top 40 chart listing. Just crank up the volume and get lost in the Country-Pop melody of “Hashem Hold On”, as it opens with the foreboding lines, “Nobody was expecting the news that day, Nobody thought it would play out this way…”
“I Daven” is a real sing-along type rock song; great melody, catchy driving rhythm and loving lyrics. It’s an uplifting, enlightening experience that will have you belting out the chorus at the top of your voice along with the singer. If you love the simple goodness of music “Mishmar” is a sonic adventure well worth basking in. I challenge you to experience it. Listen to it at least three times. I think you’ll find your toes tapping, your fingers moving, and your soul grooving to the sounds dancing all around. Throw away your inhibitions, close your eyes and sing: “Mishmar, Oh mishmar – Pass me a fork and a plate, You come here tired and need your sleep, But you’ll leave feeling wired and suddenly leap, There’s a kind of magic in the air…”
I’m a sucker for ballads though, and when I arrive to the soulful RnB crooning of “Raining in Manhattan”, the hair on the back of my neck bristles with anticipation. And rightly so! This song is delicate and deep, but oh so powerful, where once again the vocals absolutely shine within an elegant musical arrangement. But there are so many great songs in this 12-track collection that I would need many pages to rightfully represent them, suffice to say that I didn’t expect to like this album as much as I do. I’m not Jewish or even anywhere near being sufficiently religious or righteous enough to have enjoyed this album if the music was not of an exemplary and deserving nature. Well quite frankly I was blown away!
The songs are superbly written, performed and produced. They are melodic and the lyrics are both touching and meaningful. Hardly could you ask any more from a modern pop-rock recording. Judaism Alive – A Musical Odyssey is probably one of the best multi-genre albums I have listened to in many years and that is saying a lot, considering how many albums I listen to in one single day!