Neurosis: The iTunes Complex

Picture 2Us music lovers differ on our complexes, some can’t enjoy a song without having all of the album, some just can’t listen to anything that has a Bit Rate quality less than 192 Kbps, some refuses to add a song to their library when its artwork is unavailable…etc. and the list goes on. I can happily/sadly say that I have all of these symptoms. I can’t enjoy a certain song if I couldn’t find an artwork (this is more common with arabic songs than english ones), and sometimes I end up either deleting the song, or creating an artwork with our lovely friend Photoshop. Anything below 192 kbps is noise to my ears, granted there are some songs that are -128 kbps somewhere in my library, but most of them are from the Kazaa age. I don’t know if there are other people who suffer the same complex. I’ll leave you with snapshots of my loving library.
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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.

AsalahAsalah:
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

YouTube: Lessa Fakir – Asalah


For all foreigners, who never heard of the name Umm Kulthum, she is the biggest icon the middle ease has ever seen. She’s egyptian, known for her jaw-dropping contralto range. In a nutshell; Big big vocals for long long hours. Visit her Wiki page to read more about her, there are some really interesting facts. Now back to the present, Asalah (featured more than once in here) is the middle east best vocalist (nowadays), she once said in an interview “People could criticize me about my looks, height, weight, but they can’t say a word about my voice. Whoever dislikes my voice should get his/her ear checked!” and I gotta say, I loved her more since. Anyways, back to the video, in here Asalah sings Umm Kulthum’s song a capella and adds her own style to it, I think she did a wonderful job. Sometimes I wonder, what would happen if she lived in Umm Kulthum’s generation..

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!

Asalah:
Aktar
Wehna Sawa
Wallah Ma Tehady

Song Of The Day

asalahSong: Talabtek
Artist: Asalah
Album: Sawaha Galbi
In short: One of her best songs that never gets old. The vocals are immaculate and on a level of their own. Even if you’re not into arabic music, listen to her vocals, they would put the “R&B” divas to shame. I consider Asalah to be THE best arabic vocalist of our time. Her album Sawaha Galbi is her best selling album, even though it had little to no promotion and she didn’t shoot any of the songs. That is an achievement.

Talabtek – Asalah [Download]

Song Of The Day

asalaSong: Rawweh Ou Rouh/Egrib Gireeb
Artist: Asalah
Album: Sawaha Galbi/Awgat
In short: Arabic music for today. Asalah is one of the middle east’s best vocalists, her voice depth is crazy. Those two songs were released on different albums, but one is the “antithesis” of the other. The first “Rawweh Ou Rouh” (Go Away) is of course a break-up song, but notice the instrumental and the melody, for it’s almost the same on the second song “Egrib Gireeb” (Come Closer), which of course is a “make-up” song, it was a smart move of hers to have them both sound alike for more impact. For almost a week I have been in a full-swing arabic music mood. Enjoy these songs, even if you’re not speaking the language.

Asalah:
Rawweh Ou Rouh
Egrib Gireeb

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