Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
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Exotic, beautiful & danceable!!!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a fan of both Arabic and Latin music, this CD and anything else by Alabina are a dream come true. I first heard the song "Alabina" in clubs here in DC and fell in love with it. The title cut (both Arabic and Spanish versions), "Baila Maria," and "Rona" are the best tracks on the CD. I recently travelled to Granada in southern Spain and this album provided the perfect musical backdrop for my travels. It calls to mind an ancient time when the Moors ruled Spain and the Arab and Spanish worlds were inextricably linked. I will never forget my moonlit night atop the Alhambra listening to "De la Noche a la Manana" or exploring the Albayzin with "Lolai" on my Discman. The music is very catchy and danceable -- go to any club playing international music and you're sure to hear Alabina. I can not wait to attend their concert in DC this year. Ishtar and Los Ninos de Sara are a magical combination!"
Alabina--a breath of fresh flamenco w. Middle Eastern spice!
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 02/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recipe for Alabina1) Take a group like Gipsy Kings, with Spanish flamenco guitars and wailing gypsy vocals sung in Spanish.2) Stir in an equal amount of spicy Middle Eastern flavoring and instruments.3) Add a hot Arabic-singing vocalist who has taken the name of the tempestuous Sumerian goddess of love, Ishtar, whose vocal stylings are in the same vein as Ofra Haza, except stronger.4) Play music that is for the most part upbeat, danceable, and exotic.Makes twelve servings.The title track, named after the group, embodies what I listed in #4 and is my favorite track, along with the upbeat "Rona" and "Lolai." Note: this latter is not to be confused with "Lolole," which is on Album II. "Alabina" and "Baila Maria" are perfect examples of the fusion of both Spanish and Arabic musical stylings. "Lo Que Tu Dices" is another prime example.A pattern I notice is for the male vocalist to sing one or two verses in Spanish, with Ishtar coming in later with her Arabic. Three of the songs are divided into their Spanish part and Arabic part. In "Lo Que Tu Dices (Harramt Ahebbak)," the male Spanish part of the song is "Lo Que Tu Dices," while Ishtar sings the "Harramt Ahebbak" part. The other two are "Yo Te Vi (Ah Ya Zein)" and "Lolai (Ya Habibi Ya Eyni)."Ishtar's soaring, lovely and melodic vocals do indeed invoke the late and great Ofra Haza, but she has a much stronger voice than Ofra. They are shown to great effect in "Baila Maria." And she can hit a high note in "Rona." She does sing in Spanish in the Spanish version of "Alabina," but she's at her best singing in Arabic."Rona" and "Yo Te Quiero, Tu Me Quieres" is Gipsy Kings music without any Arabic styles, but they're still good for a spin on the dance floor.There are some mid-paced tracks like "Linda," "Espero," and "Eshebo" to temper the album.Alabina is a much-needed antidote to the tedium of standard pop, rock, and disco permeating in the ocean of American mainstream. Back in the mid-80's, that honor went to Miami Sound Machine with its Cuban stylings. In the late 90's, that honor has passed to Alabina."
Commercial light pop music made by producers not artists
Erin O'Rourke | 06/20/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"most of the comments state that this a mixture of arabic and spanich music, some even say Rai and Flamenco...This is definitely not it! this is pop music with very little artistic or musical inovation, using common scales and harmonies common to both arabic and spanish music. If you think that Gypsy King is flamenco music than you would probably like this CD. It is pretty danceable and appropriate for a night club or a dance class. However, if your musical taste is somewhat more discerning or sophisticated, this CD will rapidly loose its charm. For something a bit more substantial check out Ilham Al Madfai or Radio Tarifa. both these groups draw on the convergence of arabic and spanich music. You might also want t o check the real Rai from the "king of Rai", Khaled ( 1,2,3 soleil,a live performance with a couple other rai singers is especially good)"