By Dovid Fisher
For the Mitzpeh
Filled with joyous tunes, clever mashups and song covers, Rak Shalom’s latest album Paradigm, replete with 13 songs, delivers. The album is the fifth produced by Rak Shalom, a Jewish student a cappella group, which strives to release one album every two years.
Paradigm features songs that the group performed from 2014 to 2015. All but one of the songs were recorded in studio, with exception of “Kaleidoscope Heart – Once Upon Another Time,” which was recorded live. Although the album was released on Nov. 20, not all of the singers are a part of this university anymore. I bought a copy of the album and found myself listening to it many times.
The album features talented singers, great harmonies and vocal backdrops. It opens up with a lively tune, “Im Ba Lecha,” with soloist Maya Freund. My favorite songs were “Compass,” a cover of a song originally performed by Lady Antebellum, and “Keilu Kan,” originally sung by Boaz Mauda. The group did an excellent rendition of “Compass” with soloists Talia Evans and Ryan Sevel, and Noah Bar-Shain’s solo in Keilu Kan impresses. David Roumani and Avital Kimchi had a good duet in “Give Me Love.” Other good songs were “Below My Feet,” “Kadima Hala,” “Ghost,” and “We All Want Love/Shalom Rav.”
There were several songs that I felt were lacking inspiration, including the final song “The Wall.” Another song included in this category was “I Feel Better.” However, Rak Shalom is not lacking in talented voices; all of the singers did an excellent job.
Other songs were “Kadima Hala,” “Summertime/Madness,” “We All Want Love/Shalom Rav,” and “Gam/Va’anachnu Lo Neida.”
Fifteen students sung in Rak Shalom’s latest album. The Sopranos featured Maya Freund, Avital Kimchi, and Daniela Nagar. The Altos were Talia Evans, Charlotte McCafferty, and Hannah Hirschhorn. The Tenors included David Roumani, Noah Bar-Shain, Nachmi Kott, and Ryan Sevel. The Bass section was performed by Joey Frankel, Jake Steiner, Shai Berkowitz, Avi Eisenstein, Andrew Kadish.
Paradigm exemplifies Rak Shalom’s talent. I rate Rak Shalom’s new album 3.5 stars (out of 5 stars). The album has nine great songs, but four mediocre songs bring the rating down. A stronger finish to the album would have been nicer, but this album is definitely a worthwhile listen.