CD Desert Roses and Arabian Rhythms, Vol. 2 (CD 921842),
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Desert Roses and Arabian Rhythms, Vol. 2
1. Ah Ya Albi - Olga Tan/Hakim
2. Lirrili - Amina
3. En Retard - Rachid Taha
4. Take Me, I'm Yours - Chris Difford/Glenn Tilbrook/Latifa
5. Bida - Cheb Mami
6. Naachak Fik - Cheb Nasro
7. Albi Htar - Faudel/Ragheb Alama/Raghev Alama Faudel
8. Yala Habibi - Sabu/Arabian Fantasy
9. Call of the Wild - Shani
10. Bain Albareh Wa Al Yom - Nawal al Zoghbi
11. Yalla Ya Chabab - Ragheb Alama/Andy
12. Istanboogie - Oojami
13. Trique Lycee - Khaled
14. Merciful One, The - Zohar
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 850041
Antonio Hernandez; Christian Boissel; Andy Madadian; Sabu Rosado; Lilo Fadidas; Narada Michael Walden; Shani; Steve Hillage
Erran Baron Cohen; Martin Beal; Andy Kremer; Alfredo Hurtado; Rafik Tsaturian; Jill Tengan; Scott Mathers; Pete Hofmann; Philip Bagenal; Renegade Soundwave
Personnel: Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook, Latifa, Amina, Olga Tan, Rachid Taha, Shani, Cheb Mami (vocals); Kemo (rap vocals); Andy Kremer (guitar, keyboards, double bass, bass guitar, Chapman stick, programming); Keimonti Thomas, Randy Jacobs, Steve Hillage (guitar); Marcus Nand (flamenco guitar); Hakim Hamadouche (lute, background vocals); Djamel Ben Yelles (violin); Tim Sanders (alto saxophone); Roddy Lorimer (trumpet); Erran Baron Cohen (flugelhorn, piano, keyboards); Annie Whitehead (trombone); Kick Horns (brass); Andy G. (keyboards, programming); Neil Conti, Hector "Tito" Matos, Zachary Alford (drums); Simone Haggiag (talking drum, bendir, finger cymbals); Magaly Alvarez (cymbals); Juan Rivera (deff); Sabu Rosado (dumbek, percussion); Bruno Caillat (tambourine, zarb); Gerard Cohen (programming).
Audio Mixers: Erran Baron Cohen; David Tickle; Andy Kremer; Francisco Hurtado; Neil Douglas; Pete Hofmann; Scott Gordon; Steve Hillage.
Recording information: A-Wave Records, London, England; A-Wave.Com Studio, London, England; Damian, Paris, France; Eastcote; Etab Studio, Cairo, Egypt; Helioscentric Studios; Ridge Farm Studio, Surrey, England; Roundhouse; Rusk Sound Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Studio Music, Ange, Paris, France.
Unknown Contributor Role: Maged Serour.
Arrangers: Andy Madadian; Andy G.; Shani; Steve Hillage; Kick Horns.
Compilations are invariably like the curate's egg -- good in parts -- and this one's no exceptions. For all the delights, like the fiery duet between Egypt's Hakim and Puerto Rican star Olga Taon or the playful version of "Take Me I'm Yours," which transports Squeeze to North Africa in the company of Tunisian diva Latifa, you have to put up with the extremely mundane, like Shani's blandly techno-fied "Call of the Wild" or Zohar's frankly boring electronica on "The Merciful One." Overall, though, the quality's high, with some excellent tracks by Algerian Cheb Nastro, and Oojami's club-beats-go-to-Turkey "Istanboogie," which bodes well for their album. A number of the cuts do come from albums released on Mondo Melodia, but that doesn't lessen the enjoyment of songs like Amina's "Lirrili," Rachid Taha's "En Retard" (confirming the man as the best Arab-Western crossover), or Khaled's "Trigue Lycee," one of the best things to come off his Kenza release. But, like any compilation, it's the rarities that set it apart, and this has a few of them. Apart from the Hakim/Taon and Squeeze/Latifa pairings, there's also Arabian Fantasy's excellent "Yala Habibi," coming out of left field. It follows on the success of the original Desert Roses & Arabian Rhythms, which offered a fresh look at North African and Middle Eastern music, and continues to delight with its variety and intensity -- to this point, at least, the law of diminishing returns that dogs compilation series hasn't kicked in. ~ Chris Nickson
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