Thursday, August 14, 2008

Latifa - Ma'loumat Akideh

Having made the jump from traditional to pop years ago, Latifa is no stranger to change. Even after she starred in Mansour Rahbani's Hokm El Ro'yan play, nobody foresaw her collaboration with Ziad Rahbani until she announced it. Ma'loumat Akideh was Latifa's most controversial album. Critics said she was "copying" Fairuz's style by singing her son, Ziad's, songs. Others criticized Ziad's "vulgar" lyrics in the first single, Bi Nus El Jaw, which used sexual metaphors, and Latifa for singing them. However, for the majority of her listeners, it was a drastic change for Latifa, who has been singing primarily in the Egyptian dialect for years. In Ma'loumat Akideh, Sherif Tag (composed Hayati) was the only Egyptian composer Latifa worked with. The other Egyptian songs, Shofto Be Eini, Ash'ana, and Tefl Esghayar, were composed by Jean-Marie Riachi, Ziad Rahbani, and Marwan Khoury respectively. The remaining songs are all composed and arranged by Ziad Rahbani, including an instrumental piece titled Atil We Darar. Dawwart Iyam El Shetteh, Ma'loumat Mish Akideh, and Ma'loumat Akideh are all western-style jazz songs, in the vein of Fairuz's later jazz hits. Bi Nus El Jaw melds more Arabic music with the jazz, incorporating bouzouk and kanun. My personal favorites; Ammenli Bait, Nafath A Bokra, and Ash'ana have more Arabic and classical instrumentation, and are more reminiscent of Fairuz's earlier work. The richness of Ziad Rahbani's music is enough to make this one of Latifa's best albums.


1. Ma'loumat Mish Akideh
2. Ammenli Bait
3. Ash'ana
4. Hayati
5. Shofto Be Eini
6. Bi Nus El Jaw
7. Tefl Esghayar
8. Nafath A Bokra
9. Dawwart Iyam El Shetteh
10. Atil We Darar
11. Ma'loumat Akideh

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