SOTD: Sibto – Angham

Song: Sibto
Artist: Angham
Album: Sibto – Single
Genre: World
In short: Angham’s latest single was released through iTunes simultaneously with its radio premiere, a first in the Middle Eastern world. The song can’t be mistaken for someone else’s work, it’s classic Angham. “Sibto” was released to hold fans over until Angham finalizes her upcoming album.

Sibto – Angham [Download]

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Zain Create: The Middle Eastern iTunes?

ZainCreateOk so here’s the low down, we’ve all seen the annoying ads where the tiny skinny guy pops up in video clips of Elissa, Asalah..etc. (Rotana artist..).
I didn’t know what it was exactly, and thought it was a service where you send a message to a number and receive a ringtone. I was wrong.
It’s a website, similar to iTunes (except it’s not an application) where you can preview and purchase music content by most Rotana artists. It’s in its infant/baby stages, and hopefully the best is yet to come. Prices? To purchase a single song, it’ll cost you 300 fils, and a full album is 1.400 KD (as opposed to the 1.500 KD physical copy, booklet and all). I think it’s a tiny bit overpriced, they should cut it to atleast 1 KD, since getting the content for free is a click away. The price gap between the actual and virtual copy should be well more than 100 fils. Why Zain Create? well, apparently they signed a deal with Rotana to have exclusive material which is not available elsewhere. Selected songs from yet-to-be released album are for sale at 500 fils a track, and that’s their “competitive advantage”. There will also be a music video download option available sometime later this year. Other features include live streaming of radio channels and Rotana channels through your laptop.
It’s a nice step towards broadening and connecting people of the middle east through the latest in the music world (even though it’s not yet available for all of the middle east). I personally can’t wait to see what’s next!

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..

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]

Review: Ahlam’s “Hatha Ana”

02jpg1Ahlam’s 10th studio album, and her second with Rotana, proved to be a huge hit, fairing 100x better than the one before, which was a huge disappointment, being her worst album to date. The album opens with the infection first single “Wailik” which paves the way for a much heavier produced album, the instruments are all excellent, although some are better than others. “Asaak Bkhair” the second track is a reminiscent of her huge hit “Walla Ahtajik Ana“, it’s not as good, but it is a huge step forward her unaccounted forays into “slow-romantic” songs. Third track “Mabah Jideed” is a definite standout, it’s produced by Saham, who’s the “hot” producer of the Khalaji scene, this is definitely in my top 5 tracks. The album dulls but not for long on track 4, “Ana Tab’ee Ketha“, skip it to get to track #5 faster. The title-track, ‘Hatha Ana” is most certainly different she’s ever done, it was recorded in Prague with 85 violins, it’s the classiest thing she’s ever done, for international visitors, download it below. “Saddagt” is a real treat, it’s much better than what I expected, and it grows over time. “Tawwik Fithait“, which you can download below is my favorite “up-tempo” track on the album, it’s catchy, fresh, and very energetic, it’s everything Ahlam is known for. “Akhir AlAkhbar” composed by Kuwaiti composer Andullah AlGo’oud feels a bit gimmicky at first, but will most definitely grow on you after a few listens. “Shasaweelik” is a catchy mid-tempo song that has a great hook that would probably stick in your head all day. “Fikkoni Minnah” starts off to an indian-like beat and evoloved into an all-Khaliji “6ag6iga”, which never fails. “Ta’awadt ElJirah” has yet to impress me. “Ala Ya Shari ElFarga” is an Emarati/Bahraini themed song, it feels very traditional and therefor fun. “Nawee Tirooh” is my absolute favorite track of hers from all of her material circa ’97, it’s composed by Anwar Abdullah, who discovered Ahlam in the first place, whose Ahlam compositions as of late were a bit “Meh” (Nasi, Babihom Sidda..etc.) although I do love the latter. This song is not for everyone, I love it for it’s sheer effect on me, I have never been this captured by an arabic song in a really long while, it’s Ahlam pulling off her best Abdu. The album closes with the already-known “Awareekom Feeh“, she sang the hell out of this song in every concert, TV appearance..etc. It’s still fun to listen to though, it’s a fun track, nothing serious. This marks Ahlam’s best album since her ’97 “Kaif Artha?”. Very well done, Ahlam and thank you very much for making me fall in love with you, your music all over again. Definitely worth your 1.500 KDs.

5/5

5/5

Ahlam:
Hatha Ana
Tawwik Fithait
Nawee Tirooh

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