My CD Review of Omeima El Khalil: Ya

El Khalil, Omeima / Ya

Album: Ya Collection: World
Artist: El Khalil, Omeima Added: 09/2012
Label: Forward Music

Album Review by Dr. Ramzi Salti

Reviewed 2012-09-11

--All Tracks are FCC CLEAN—

Known throughout the Eighties and Nineties for her powerful vocals and somewhat traditional songs, Omeima El Khalil’s 2011 album represents a break from the norm for this relatively famous female vocalist who attempts to now fuse western beats with Arabic lyrics while tackling themes that center on love’s joy and pain. Latin beats dominate several of the tracks on this CD, while other songs sound traditionally Egyptian.

**1. “Ouhibbouka Akhtar” (I Love You More) (5:32) An a cappella declaration of passion; haunting vocals (5:32).
2. “Ya Helou” (Handsome Guy) fuses salsa rhythms with Arabic lyrics. (4:17)
3. “Daret El Kahweh” (Serving Coffee) Slow ballad about drinking coffee from a broken cup. (6:56).
4. “Ya Sidi” (Master) is the single that was commercially released and seems the least interesting in terms of musical experimentation (4:04)
5. “Ila Akhirihi” (Etc.) sounds a bit bluesy and jazzy while mixed with a Latin beat that changes into regular Arabic rhythm (3:51)
**6. “Shab Y Sabiyeh”(A Boy and a Girl) Sweet, romantic ballad about a love that defies society and time.(5:07)
7. “Laff” (Turn) Fast rhythm, danceable, long musical introduction no lyrics, just chanting (4:05)
8. “Iyam” (Days) Starts slow then picks up. Song about jealousy and envy among people (4:42)
**9. “Mazaj”(Mood) (Beirut Biloma Remix) Western rhythm, slow ballad, featuring Omeima’s chanting voice without any lyrics (5:48).

**My picks: 1, 6, 9 Ramzi Salti


Track Listing

1. Ouhibbouka Akthar 6. Ila Rkhirihi
2. Ya Helou 7. Shab Y Sabiyeh
3. Leh? 8. Laff
4. Daret El Kahweh 9. Iyam
5. Ya Sidi 10. Houwe
11. Mazaj (Beirut Biloma Remix)

Review also available on Zookeeper via this link

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