The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Saturday, March 31, 2007

River From Eden

I finally got a chance to listen to Michael Shapiro's new CD, River From Eden, on Friday. It is absolutely spellbinding.

One doesn't listen to Michael Shapiro's music to be entertained. Rather, his music is like tefilah, prayer. It is deep and contemplative. It is not for everyone and it is certainly not music you can listen to at all times. It isn't background music. It's music you listen to when you have time to reflect and concentrate.

The new CD is no different. The arrangements are extremely simple; guitar, bass and vocals, including an occasional harmony. That's it. No drums, no percussion. The first four songs of the CD each cover one stanza of Yedid Nefesh, the tefilah we sing before Kabbolas Shabbos (and at the Third Meal on Shabbos), each with a different niggun. The fifth tune, A New Road, is an indescribably beautiful niggun (without words). The rest of the songs are also quite beautiful and the album ends with an especially nice tune, Simple Faith.

I don't know what to make of this in light of Michael's interesting spiritual journey. Nevertheless, there is no denying that this CD is as great, if not better, than any of his previous works.