There’s a lot to be stressed over these days, from political arguments, fears of violence, having to pay a mortgage or a school tuition, or even worrying who you will marry if you’re single. What’s a person to do? Many may opt for chocolate cake (especially before Pesach) but there’s a better way to deal with things without the calories. Moshav’s new album “Shabbat Vol.2” won’t solve all of your problems, but it will make you forget about them while you’re listening to it.
Moshav starts out with “Modeh Ani,” which is fittingly a great song to wake up to and has a child-like innocence to it. If you’re hearing this is when you’re driving and someone cuts you off, you’ll be able to breathe easy. Front-man Yehuda Solomon shows a gentle brilliance in his opening soft delivery and even has his 10-year-old son, Evyatar, joining him on vocals.
“Elokai Neshama” is the second-best song on the album. Duvid Swirksy isn’t simply another singer. He’s good enough to do lead vocals for any group and Moshav is blessed with two elite voices. Swirsky show his skill here in is a soul-cleansing song that makes you feel good just listening to it. There’s a 50% chance you will call up someone you’ve been in a fight with and reconcile. Swirsky also rocks out on the best track, “Bayom Hahu.” It has an infectious word-less anthemic chorus that makes it seem like the coolest Jews in the world are on the way. Maybe your relatives will play it in their car with the windows open when they arrive at your house before Shabbos. An unexpected saxophone adds some worthy texture at one point in this song. “Asader Le’Suedata” will have a palpable impact on you, where you are transplanted to the desert in Israel. You can picture a tent and you can taste the flat-bread being cooked on a stone fire. Though the song is a bit repetitive, you won’t lose interest.
“Dodi Li” is a song you expect to be played at weddings and is a testament to Moshav’s songwriting ability. The radio-friendly subtlety and simplicity hit the mark. The key change in the latter portion of the song works well.
“Ma Tovu” has a tension-building chorus that makes use of Solomon’s ability to effortlessly throw in trills wherever and whenever he wants. His vocals give the feeling that you should not give up on whatever dreams you have and the drums give it a majestic feel.
The last song, “Eliyahu Hanavi” is a bit of a curious choice because the group already has a hit song by that name and this completely different tune comes out of left field. It’s still a fun listen and the inclusion of Richie Havens’ song, “Freedom” is an intelligent inclusion. “Or Chadash” seems destined to be in a movie and has a happy Beatles feel. With 16 tracks, whether you like to listen to calm and relaxing music or upbeat sounds to give you a charge before Shabbat, there is something for everyone. The members of Moshav are from Mevo Modiin in Israel and live in Los Angeles. This effort marks their 10th studio album so it makes sense that they’ve made a minyan with “Shabbat Vol. 2”
Moshav makes it look easy with harmonies that are natural fits, but don’t be mistaken. Creating catchy hooks and an authentic sound that can be rousing or relaxing is something difficult to achieve.