Posted: Dec 12,2007

Album Review: Sounds of the Soul by Chaim Fogelman

By Dina Fraenkel 

Are you looking for inspiration?  An uplifting CD in a language that you can easily understand?  Look no further than Chaim Fogelman’s newest album, Sounds of the Soul

Geared to an adult audience, Chaim Fogelman expertly combines rich, original, inspiring English lyrics with soulful melodies that strike a deep chord in the listener’s heart.  Fogelman’s knack for writing songs that really live with the times is readily apparent in his latest collection of timely, poignant story-songs, balanced by songs retelling timeless Chassidic stories and lessons. 

“High Technology,” track two on Sounds of the Soul, is an upbeat song with a techno feel.  “High Technology” transmits the Rebbe’s critical lesson that we must utilize technology for kedusha and spreading Yiddishkeit to the corners of the earth.  Beepers, iPhones, GPS and the Internet are portrayed as vehicles for the transmission of kedusha – pictures of a new Jewish baby, directions to help a lost Jew make it home in time for Shabbos, and daily Torah study, all made accessible through the latest technological innovations.   

The chorus connects these high tech devices with a stirring message, taken from our Sages, which describes great advancements heralding the final redemption.

    We all live in a time filled with prophecy

    It’s a time so advance, with high technology

    These are the times that our Sages clearly did describe

    Would only take place before Moshiach will arrive 

“I Believe,” track three on Sounds of the Soul, is my personal favorite song.  References to Israel and uniquely Jewish suffering move seamlessly into the most well known, almost universal tragedy of our time, the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and finally to allusions of personal crises and suffering.  The most stirring lines in the song, about the destruction of the World Trade Center show Hashem’s personal connection to every person who will let Him in.

Horrified, we watched the Towers fall

As my soul froze somehow

I wondered, G-d, where are you now?

But as the people ran in fear

I know you were standing there

And as our heroes went to die

I think I heard you start to cry 

A powerful chorus connects each theme, painting a picture of Hashem’s everlasting presence in our lives, His unending compassion, and the strength we can achieve if we depend on Him.  

    And I believe, you are listening to me

    And I believe, you are standing here with me

    And the footprints in the sand, oh no they’re not from me

    I believe there all from You, my G-d, when you carried me 

“The Orphan,” track seven on Sounds of the Soul, retells the famous story of the Baal Shem Tov’s final moments with his father, at the tender age of five years old.  The song features an almost sorrowful melody that illustrates the Baal Shem Tov’s journey from an orphaned little boy to a humble tzaddik who gave the world the gift of Chassidus.   

The words of the Baal Shem Tov’s father, featured in the chorus of “The Orphan” encapsulate the eternal message of the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings, the essence of Chassidus…

    Hashem will be with you

    Everywhere you go

    And you’ll never be alone

    Make the Torah your home

    And listen to my words

    Serve Hashem with joy

    Because it’s an honor and it’s a gift to be

    G-d’s chosen little boy 

Each song on Chaim Fogelman’s newest album conveys a message from Chassidus relevant to every Jew – from serving Hashem with joy, to utilizing everything for kedusha, to emunah and bitachon, to chessed – the ikkar of every song is the transmission of Toras HaChassidus.  Sounds of the Soul will pull at your heartstrings; encourage you to think about Hashem’s presence in your life; and leave you with a refreshing dose of Chassidic inspiration. 

Sounds of the Soul is Chaim Fogelman’s ninth production.  His first album, Beyond the Clouds was released in 1995 and his other projects include: Footsteps, Prayer, Hand in Hand & I’m a Chossid (VHS/DVD produced by Malka Touger), The Shabbos Synagogue Companion & The Shabbos Table Companion (produced with Zalman Goldstein), and Chanukah Yingles (perfect background music for your next Chanukah party!).

From the Nshei Journal Kislev-Tevet Issue 5768


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