I discovered middle eastern music a few years ago through an interest in belly dance. This album is a delightful compilation of styles from modern to more classical style singers. The recording is also, in my opinion, a statement of the importance of the female voice in arabic music.
It starts with the modern and the internationally acclaimed Najwa Karam followed by the stylish voice of Nawal Al Zouchbi. Each recording is a little older including more classical styles with rich orchestrations. The oldest recording is from Oum Kaltoum but my favourite track is from Egypt's Nagat. Her voice has a unique quality; delicate, warm and sensual. I would buy 'Arabia' for this track alone.
I adore this CD. There's something so RICH about the singer's voices. Most of the songs are a mix of pop from different eras, and more classical style pieces. If those aren't to your tastes, don't buy it. Otherwise, this is a well-varied sampler of fantastic pieces.
This is Arabia from Egypt Eastwards, not including North Africa to the West. No Morocco, Algeria etc. Most of the tracks are modern Lebanon-Syrian cafe style with strings or synth strings. Not my cup of tea. The voices are interesting but the arrangements are sweet like baklava. I wanted more authentic ethnic, guess I should have read the liner notes, not just 1 review. The last 2 tracks are pre 1970 and interesting, especially the Oum Kaltoum: sounds like a recording of a scratchy 78. The Fairuz track is from 1961 I think, and shows some fire, but I can't love the arrangement. Maybe there is a complete, good quality CD of Oum Kaltoum out there which could replace this on my shelf. ...
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