Search - Natacha Atlas :: Halim

Natacha Atlas
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

On previous solo outings, and in her work with Transglobal Underground and Jah Wobble, the sultry Natacha Atlas has adapted her voice to music from all over the globe. Her heart--and background--is very much in the Middle ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Natacha Atlas
Title: Halim
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Koch Records
Release Date: 4/21/1998
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Pop
Styles: Ambient, World Dance, Middle East, Arabic, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 099923798125

On previous solo outings, and in her work with Transglobal Underground and Jah Wobble, the sultry Natacha Atlas has adapted her voice to music from all over the globe. Her heart--and background--is very much in the Middle East, and on Halim she's made her own Middle Eastern record. It's not traditional, by any means, but it's in the tradition: songs of love and spirit. In terms of arrangements there are plenty of concessions to the West, but there's absolutely no doubt where it's all rooted. This is all for the best. Atlas is a world-class singer, but on these songs she can really let herself go, reach back into herself and squeeze out every ounce of emotion. The centerpiece, though, is "Ya Ahli Ehda," recorded in Cairo with an Egyptian orchestra, where you can almost feel the dry heat in your face. It's saying a great deal, but Halim might be the most potent record steeped in the past of the eastern Mediterranean since Ofra Haza's Fifty Gates of Wisdom. It's that good. --Chris Nickson

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CD Reviews

Worth it for "Gafsa" alone
tentoone | New York, NY United States | 01/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first came upon this album through the film "3-Iron" by the Korean director Kim Ki-duk. The song "Gafsa" plays a prominent role in that film.

I like both Middle Eastern vocals and electronic dance music--I'm just not sure how much I like the two TOGETHER. Atlas has a very sensual voice and knows how to use it. Most of the tracks on this album are decent, if not especially memorable.

"Gafsa," however, is in my mind a strong contender to be one of the most beautiful songs ever. A heartrending melody, exquisitely sung, with an acoustic arrangement that's nothing short of perfection. I could listen to this song forever and never get tired of it."
Natacha's BEST album ever!!!!!
tentoone | 10/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For all Natacha Atlas fans, this is the cd to get. I listen to it wherever i go, X-country meets to hour-long plane trips. Her style is remarkable in this album. A must-have for a Natacha Atlas Collection!"
Halim is Sweeter than Any Sweets!
Book Lover | United States of America | 12/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

I was first introduced to Natacha Atlas over the summer of 2006 through Amazon's free music download section, in which I downloaded "Mish Fadilak" from her fourth album, Ayeshteni (which I highly recommend). Since then I have purchased seven of her albums in addition to most of the TransGlobal Underground and Jah Wobble songs that showcase her incredible voice. The first album I bought was Halim, which is Natacha's best in my opinion. Diaspora (first album) and Gedida (third album) are not far behind, but Halim stands out as having the most incredible and creative arrangement of songs. Diaspora is more ambient dub, while Gedida is largely influenced by Arabic pop and R&B. Sung entirely in Arabic, Halim is a perfect balance of ambience/electronic, R&B, Arabic pop, and traditional Middle Eastern medleys. And the album artwork is beautiful in itself, showcasing Egyptian wall paintings, in which, according to the liner notes, Natacha Atlas had a hand.

Marifnaash, Moustahil, Amulet, and Kidda are great pop songs, all of which feature shuffling dancebeats along with indigenous instruments such as oud and dharabuka. In Amulet, which you can view on YouTube, Natacha Atlas is backed by energetic vocals from Sawt el Atlas. Belly dancers will delight in Leyli, Ya Weledi, and Enogoom Wil Amar (an outstanding song with lush Middle Eastern arrangements). Ya Weledi has a marching rythm with beautiful Middle Eastern combinations, and the more classical Ya Albi Ehda is reminiscent of the legendary Fairuz. The R&B-influenced arrangements include Sweeter than Any Sweets and Agib, in which Atlas' snake-charmed voice arrests the senses. The lyrics of Andeel speak for the song itself: "As intoxicating as full bodied wine/ As essential as the blood that runs through my veins..." Andeel, with its ambient Middle Eastern allure, is indeed intoxicating and Natacha's well-conditioned voice "stirs the patina of emotions/ That lie in another world..." Andeel is truly my favorite on the album. Gafsa is the mellowest song, in which Natacha's voice is beautiful and longing. All of the songs are delightfully poetic. Here is a sample of Enogoom Wil Amar taken from the liner notes, which include lyrical snippets in English from nine of the songs:

I miss you
My love burns to see you again
I keep company with the stars
And the moon and the bitter sweet night
And there is a magic to my life
Made by you

Halim is an overall amazing album that deserves widespread recognition. I highly recommend this album to anyone who loves Arabic pop, traditional Middle Eastern, and electronic music.