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53 of 53 found the following review helpful:
Mid-Eastern Dance Beats! Mar 05, 2002
This CD focuses on dancey and pop styles from various Middle Eastern and North African musicians, and I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer diversity I found on this CD. Egyptian pop music is placed side by sid with Algerian Rai and even more exotic styles. It is truely an excellent CD, especially if you are already familar with Cairo pop music or Algerian Rai. The music on this CD is incredibly modern and dancable.
Big names, sch as Hamid el-Shaeri, Amr Diab, Natacha Atlas, Dania and the like make some excellent contributions to this CD. Hamid el-Shaeri's song alone is worth buying this CD for, and Natacha Atlas outdoes herself on Kidda. And thats not even getting into the incredibly beautiful remixes of Sawt el-Atlas and Dania.
And, of course, theres also some Algerian Rai music on this CD, though not as much as one would expect. Khaled, the King of Rai himself, presents a excellent track, "Mauvais Sang", which is particularly moving. Theres also a track by Fadela & Sahraoui and a track from Cheb Tarik. However, this CD is very eclectic, and also covers Moroccan pop, Cairo/Arab pop, and styles even further afield.
Over all, this is an excellent CD, and I stongly recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys Arabic or North African music, especially Rai or Cairo pop styles.
28 of 28 found the following review helpful:
For beginners who want to explore Middle Eastern music. Apr 30, 2005
Arabic Groove is a great compilation to start you off into the wonderful and exotic world of Middle Eastern infused dance, electronica, downtempo and chill out. Putumayo World Music released this collection back in 2001 but I think it's still quite fresh for someone who recently discovered the intoxicating Middle Eastern beats probably on a Buddha Bar CD or on another similar collection. The cool thing about the CD is that the artists are listed with their respective countries beside them so you can tell what's what and where each artist hails from. The last track by Cheb Tarik called L'histoire is a an awesome disco/rai fusion of a song. Very catchy and great to dance to. It samples an old Kool & The Gang track which I can't quite figure out but it's very fun! Other songs on this CD include Amarain by Amr Diab. A fun tune that has been featured in Buddha Bar and countless other rip offs as well. There's Natacha Atlas from Transglobal Underground a great band from the UK from the early to mid/late '90s singing Kidda. This track is a bit mellow the sensual and entrancing voice of the great Natacha Atlas. Definitely worth checking out her solo releases.
26 of 27 found the following review helpful:
So FUNky! Jun 20, 2001
By MELISSA CALDWELL
This is a fun, funky, totally danceable CD. I love it and have had it in my CD player since it arrived. Some of the tunes I was already familiar with, such as Amr Diab's Amarain, and Natacha Atlas' Kidda. There are artists here that are new to me, and I'm looking forward to discovering their releases. My favorite tracks on Arabic Groove are Galbi, which has a driving back beat and a hip hop feel, and Heli Meli, a song that incorporates traditional rhythms and instruments, as well as some traditional sounding backing vocals by female singers.
The packaging is great, with photos, lengthy bios and descriptions of the songs. These things, along with some English translation of the lyrics, help me to decide if a piece is appropriate to bellydance to.
While this CD can skip from one track to the next just like a regular CD, when played straight through, there are no breaks because each song flows into the one following. It's perfect party music, put it in the player and let it go, and the dancing doesn't have to stop.
20 of 20 found the following review helpful:
Arabic Bubblegum Dance Groove Aug 09, 2002
By Kevin L. Nenstiel
I start this review with a word of warning. This album is not ethnic Arabic folk music, as you might expect from Putumayo. This is dance-club pop, and sounds great on a surround-sound system or home theatre. If you want ethnic Arabic folk, there is plenty of it to be found; you just won't find it on this disc.
That's not to say you probably won't like what you find on this disc. The souped-up tracks you'll find here, mixing a more stereotypical Arabic sound with a radio-friendly, distinctly American synth-pop sound, are rollicking and enjoyable. You can't do the Electric Slide with these songs, but if you just want to get up and move your feet where the music takes you, this is your compilation.
The tracks dissolve into one another like dance tracks at a club, and many dissolve almost seamlessly. They follow a reasonable arc from Abdel Ali Slimani's "Moi et Toi," which begins with a traditional folk riff, through to Cheb Tarik's "L'histoire," which samples a disco track from Kool and the gang. The pace varies just enough to keep from tiring dancers, even providing a slow-paced respite around track 8.
Though primarily a male-artist-dominated album, the two standout tracks must surely be the two female songs, Dania's "Leiley" and Natacha Atlas' "Kidda." As both songs have backing tracks from Transglobal Underground (whose influence is evident throughout the disk), this surely says something about the pervasive power of the Arabic power pop ensemble.
Though there is one track each from Moroccan, Libyan, and Lebanese artists, most of the CD demonstrates the give-and-take relationship between two centers of Arabic pop culture: Cairo, Egypt, and the large expatriate Algerian community in France. These two centers have a good symbiotic relationship, turning out some of the most dynamic dance music being recorded today.
This disc is wildly incomplete, but it wasn't intended as a thorough examination of the style it represents. Like most Putumayo samplers, it's a rough introduction, intended to whet your appetite and encourage you to seek out more of this style. Like most world music, it will whiz past some people without leaving a mark. To the dedicated listener and red-blooded world citizen, however, it will open up sonic opportunities well worth pursuing further.
15 of 15 found the following review helpful:
There are better options for Arab music May 02, 2003
By B. Casey
I thought this was a mediocre offering. A couple of the songs are too Westernized and not Arabic enough ... kinda like listening to Sting do Arab music rather than the real thing.
The production is also poor...some of the songs end abruptly, as if the producers weren't paying attention when they put together the tracks.
That said, there are some really good songs here, especially those by Natacha Atlas and Dania. But then, you could just directly buy their CDs.
A better compilation is Arabesque...much more original, better production, and better song selection.
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