Arabic GEMS

ArabicI never did an arabic version of my GEMS! post, so thought “why not?”, since arabic music is getting better, and there are a lot of good releases this year, mixed with older tunes.

AnghamRahat Layali – Angham [Download]
Only recently I got into Angham’s music, the album Leih Sebtaha is perfect, start to end. Rahat Layali is my most played song of hers, it’s very lush and melodic, which represents Angham’s music very well.

RashidLe Etteshakka – Rashid AlMajed [Download]
This song is as old as pre ’95 i think, I remember my older brother listening to the song nonstop, which made me, eventually love the song.

YaraMaroom – Yara [Download]
Download this right now, it’s probably the catchiest arabic song this year. I was very surprised when I heard her album, and LOVED it, she’s truly one of the best non-Khaleejis who sang Khaleeji.

AhlamTawwik Fithait – Ahlam [Download]
Borrowing a little more than just the strings from Asalah’s Sawaha Galbi, Ahlam storms back to the music scene with one fire cracker, this is a hit in the making. Very well produced.

NajwaHakam ElQadhi – Najwa Karam [Download]
I love Najwa Karam, and what I love more than her, is classic Najwa. Although her music is great still, nothing can touch her older albums, circa 96-99.

NawalHathy Jideeda – Nawal [Download]
Mogul producer Saham (Asalah, Ahlam) lends his magic touch to Nawal, which results in this gem of a song. Although the overall result of their work is inferior to his work with both Asalah and Ahlam.

Obviously I can’t let this post go without posting something by Asalah, so I’m going to post three of my current favorite Asalah songs, one Khaleeji, and two Egyptian/Arabic. Tegdar Terooh is definitely a standout song given it wasn’t on any of her albums, it’s a Khaleeji song, so if you enjoy her Khaleeji albums, and want a little more before her next album (confirmed to be Khaleeji) comes out, get the song. Ah Min Aynah and Ba’a Tabeay are two great gems found on her latest album Nos Hala, both are feel-good songs that fill me with joy beyond all joy.
Tegdar Terooh
Ah Min Aynah
Ba’a Tabeay


Introducing: La Roux

larouxI LOVE YOU UK. I had to get it out of my system. I swear to god, had it not been for the UK’s music scene, pop would be blatantly boring today (with the exception of my dear Gaga). I will not list the many great pop artists the UK’s spawned, but instead I will talk about this new flaming, fiery, blazing, red-hot of an artist named La Roux (pronounced La Roo), to be more accurate La Roux is a band consisting of singer Elly Jackson, and behind-the-scenes co-writer-producer Ben Langmaid, but I’ll refer to Elly as La Roux, because I initially thought La Roux is her stage name.. ok I babbled a bit too much. I first head La Roux’s Quicksand EP which to me at that time, was average, very average, and it wasn’t until her hit single “In For The Kill” reached #2 on UK’s chart that I downloaded and listened more carefully to the song, which is obviously a hit! I was still not a big fan, but along came “Bulletproof“. Now, then, that song is the definitive moment in her career, it was an instant favorite from day 1. It’s beyond catchy, words can’t express how catchy the chorus is, hence the song’s STRAIGHT shot (debuting) atop the UK’s chart, #1! To me, UK’s chart is pop bible, because the sweet people of the lovely land of the United Kingdom have something most Americans lack (not all), taste. I am now listening her debut self-titled album, which is great (first listen!). It’s very cohesive, very charming, and above all, alarmingly hot. La Roux 1, Little Boots 0. Don’t judge me, I love competition/comparison. I uploaded two of the songs I loved upon hearing the album for the first time. They’re instants, trust.

La Roux:
Cover My Eyes

Song Of The Day

viv.JPGSong: Emotional Rollercoaster
Artist: Vivan Green
Album: A Love Story
In short: A magical voice, I always remember her “ran my 3 miles to clear my mind, it always helps me out, it’s my therapy when I’m losing it, which is usually” when on the treadmill in the gymnasium.

Emotional Rollercoaster – Vivan Green [Download]


Her debut single, “I Am Not A Robot”. That should be my theme song. This is for fans of Kate Bush et al.
The video is absolutely stellar, and very fresh.


MelodyGardot-04-bigWho? Melody Gardot. Genre? Jazz. About: My dear friend @Nasque of Loft956 makes monthly compilations, and each month he introduces us (me) to at the very least two new artists I didn’t know before, last month’s star is Melody Gardot a jazzy singer for the fans of Norah Jones (except she’s a bit better). Her voice is distinctive it’s like a mixture of the best of Duffy and Adele. I chose theses 5 songs specifically for you to download and enjoy. Frist, Baby I’m A Fool the album opener, her voice will immediately capture your attention, the lyrics are great as well “Baby I should hold on just a moment and be sure it’s for vanity, look me in the eye and tell me love is never based upon insanity“. If The Stars Were Mine is the song to download if you’re only downloading one, it’s the song that introduced me to Ms. Gardot. It’s definitely the cutest song I have heard all year, no doubts, seriously download it and see for yourself. Our Love Is Easy is epic, from the musical instruments to her deliverance, nothing not to like about the song, the lyrics “Our love is easy, like water rushing over stone, our love is easy, like no love I’ve ever known“. Now we go back in time to her debut album Worrisome Heart. The title track will compel you, trust. Some Lesson is probably my favorite off that album, “Why do the hands of time, so easily unwind?“.
Download the songs, listen to them, and give me your feedback!

Melody Gardot:
Baby I’m A Fool
If The Stars Were Mine
Our Love Is Easy
Worrisome Heart
Some Lessons

Artist-you-might-not-know-but-should-really-know [25]

LOVELIFEUKULELEWho? Sophie Madeleine. Genre? Folk/Acoustic. About: Sophie hails from Brighton, and bright she is, her debut album LOVE.LIFE.UKULELE was released not so long ago, and it shows so much promise. Its strength is its simplicity and straight-forwardness.  I have picked 3 songs from the album to highlight, first of all, You’re My Favorite, which is the first song I heard and was the one that got me “hooked”, it’s a simple song with nothing but a tender voice, acoustic guitar, an accordion, and lush lyrics. I Just Can’t Stop Myself (From Writing Love Songs About You), if the title didn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what will. One Kiss Too Many is the one of the bet moments on the album, her voice’s tenderness will you have surrendered and all ears. Download the three songs below, like them, love them, buy the album, love it.

Sophie Madeleine:
You’re My Favorite
I Just Can’t Stop Myself (From Writing Love Songs About You)
One Kiss Too Many

nuLike: Asalah

AsalahI have been a moderate fan of Asalah’s for the past few years, but recently a “devoted/stan” of hers, every time I go back to an older album I find more and more great stuff, her material is always impeccable, she never overdo an album, with an average of 8-9 songs per album, it only leaves you wanting more. One of my recent discoveries was her smash hit album Hayati, possibly her best selling album (Thank you, Egypt), I used to like one song from the album “Aktar” and that was it, when rummaging through the album, I found it to be of ALL exceptionally great material. The single “Aktar” is a global smash hit, from the spanish guitar intro to the synths in the beginning to the egyptian beats under-layers, it’s the perfect blend for a pop hit, the song raised Asalah’s status beyond what it was in the country it was aimed for the most, Egypt. Did I mention that she looks just adorable in the video, casual’d down and all? Next, “Wehna Sawa” is an instant hit as well, blending Moroccan and Egyptian styles together, it goes to show how diverse this woman can be. I love that song. Last and definitely not least, “Wallah Ma Tehady” Now, then, this song here is my favorite of the whole album, the message it carries, the “aah’s” at the 2:00 minutes mark, and everything about this song is just PERFECT. All the other songs on the album are brilliant, get the album!

Wehna Sawa
Wallah Ma Tehady

Artist-you-might-not-know-but-should-really-know [24]

rosiecapjpgWho? Rosie Thomas. Genre? Folk/Acoustic. About: I stumbled upon her lovely music while I was browsing some of the olden music blogs, and I istantly fell in love with her voice and music as a whole, so I went and got all of her albums, and I drowned in a world of tenderness and beauty, a much calmer world than ours. I handpicked the best of hers, and here’s your chance of expanding your horizon to something so beautiful. “It Don’t Matter To The Sun” is my most played song of hers, its play count sky-rocketed in the winter, it’s a very winter-y song, it’s one of my favorites of hers. “Say Hello” is a song I’m sure most of you will adore because it’s very simple, verging on being a mere lullaby, it will sooth and relax you, this is a “crowd” favorite, whenever I play her music, this one sticks out. “Guess It May” is led with piano and emotionally-broken vocals, they work like magic. “Let It Be Me” is a song I didn’t initially like, but on the album’s tracklisting it was the song after “Guess It May” so it kept playing whenever that one ended, and I fell in love with after having it stuck in my head. “Have You Seen My Love” is my second favorite of hers, it’s just so sad but “demure” if I may say that about a song, it was an instant hit in my charts, still is. “I Run” and “Death Came And Got Me” are both highlights in their own album, and in her whole catalogue. Give in to her music, it’ll make your life better.

Rosie Thomas:
It Don’t Matter To The Sun
Say Hello
Guess It May
Let It Be Me
Have You Seen My Love
I Run
Death Came And Got Me

Review/Spotlight: Erik Hassle’s “Hassle”

hassleI promised to post his album back in this previous post, and here it is. The album is definitely a highlight of 2009, so far. From the opening track to the closing one, it’s all good, and I mean really good. The album kicks in with “Bump In The Road” which is a hopeful song perfect for blasting out loud on your way to work. “Hurtful” we all heard it, we all love it, we all are still having it on repeat, aren’t we? good. “Don’t Bring Flowers (After I’m Dead)” another highlight, if you liked the previous two, you’ll love this one, its lyrics are beautiful, and no it’s not a ballad. “Isn’t It Obvious” one of my favorites, this would’ve been a perfect lead single for Kelly Clarkson instead of “My Life Would Suck With You“, I can’t think of any person more fitting for this song, it’s an instant favorite.”The Thanks I Get” the album slows down a bit in here, but it’s still as perfect as ever, the lyrics are enough to keep you occupied through the whole song, add to it Erik’s beautiful voice, and you’ll have a winner, another favorite. “Wanna Be Loved” is on the verge of MGMT’s territory, the chorus is its best part, and I usually hate choruses, “Of all the lonely people, I wanna be loved by you“. “Fist Time” is uplifting, my favorite line in the whole album is in it, “You keep on giving me goosebumps, every time you touch my neck, and did you know girl just how bad my toes curl, when the end of our fingers connect?“, beautiful!”Love Me To Pieces” is a bit boring, but the chorus salvages the whole song and save it from sounding like everything on the radio. “All I Wanted Was You” is the big ballad of the album, his vocal range is huge. “Back To Bed” has my favorite intro-music of the album, it’s eerily beautiful, another favorite of mine. “Make It In Time” the perfect way to close a perfect album. I don’t usually give any album 5 pods rate, but this is more than deserving.



1. Bump In The Road
2. Hurtful
3. Don’t Bring Flowers (After I’m Dead)
4. Isn’t It Obvious?
5. The Thanks I Get
6. Wanna Be Loved
7. First Time
8. Love Me To Pieces
9. Bitter End
10. All I Wanted Was You
11. Back To Bed
12. Make It In Time

Erik Hassle – Hassle [Download]

Artist-you-might-not-know-but-should-really-know [23]

mariamenajpgWho? Maria Mena
Genre? Pop/Soul/Acoustic
About: Maria Mena, one of our time’s greatest writers, or so I believe, she’s the only singer that I could identify with, the only woman who would understand me, the only songstress that I feel fully connected to her music. I swear to god I use her music as therapy, her voice heals me. I highly respect this woman, I wish to meet her one day, and TALK to her. Here are some of my absolute favorite songs with my favorite lyrics:

Maria Mena:
Each confession I make translates to you as an insult,
we must rid ourselves of this habit.
I once heard you say youll never love anyone more, then why am I still fighting you?
And its never felt like this before, no we have never fought like this before
“-I’m On Your Side

Our battles are repetitious, if not broken poetry
and maybe that’s the attraction, that you’re as self-absorbed as me.
You jumped to the conclusion and landed on my chest,  now how am I supposed to make you see.
“-Our Battles

I’ve run out of complicated theories, so now I’m taking back my words, I’m preparing for the breakdown.
Your t-shirt lost its smell of you, and the bathroom’s still a mess, remind me why we decided this was for the best
“-Miss You Love

Comfortable as I am, I need your reassurance.
Comfortable as you are, you count the days
“-Just Hold Me

I know it’s time for me to grow up, I know my head’s somewhere else but give me a break
I’ve never done this before, and somewhere in between I’m feeling lonely.
You wouldn’t have a friend that I could borrow?
“-Pale People

I got used to the treadmill love, where no matter how fast you run, you’re stuck at the starting point,
only exhausted
“-Where Were You

Just tell me how you want me, and I’ll be naked stumbling
just to get a reaction, any signs of love
“-Nevermind Me

He grabs my wrist, as my fingers turn into angry fists“-Sorry

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