Thursday, April 9, 2009

Grace Deeb - Aktar Min Gharam

The biggest crime an artist could do to an excellent album is to sell it short. Unfortunately, that is what Grace Deeb did after releasing the video for the title song, and she disappeared. Though the album is her best so far, she only released two singles, Aktar Min Gharam, and many months after, Ghinniyat. The album is a huge change from her first, which relied heavily on very western-style songs. George Marderosian, who composed her hit Ghannali, returns with two amazingly good songs. Lail Ou Bel Lail is a breathtaking ballad which Adel Aayesh compliments with great arrangement, and Endak Khabar is in the traditional fashion that Marderosian always innovates with. Tony Abi Karam wrote and composed Law Kan, a beautiful ballad that only pales in comparison to Lail Ou Bel Lail. A surprising name on the list is Salah El Sharnoubi, who composed Alfein Mersal, a great, upbeat song with fun beats and baglama, and one of the best Salah has composed in a while. Rawad Raad's compositions, the nouveau-dabke Ghinniyat and Latin-influenced Aw'at are also interesting, upbeat songs, both arranged by Dani Helou. The album ends with Wissam El Amir's Endi Ehsas, which had it not been preceeded by two great ballads would have been much more appreciated! It is not clear why Grace was away for so long, but the fact her management changed after this album may be a clue. Nevertheless, this is a top-notch album, that finds the balance between Grace's western voice and great Arabic music.

1. Aktar Min Gharam
2. Law Kan
3. Alfein Mersal
4. Aw'at
5. Ghinniyat
6. Lail Ou Bel Lail
7. Endak Khabar
8. Endi Ehsas

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