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Mounqaliba by Natacha Atlas
Released: Sep 2010
Label: Six Degrees
The album is named "Reversal," and while it putatively addresses society's descent into a new dark age, it might as well be talking about Natacha Atlas' career trajectory. The dance club diva is two releases into her reinvention as a modern Arabic chanteuse, and Mounqaliba tacks clips of the conspiracy-minded thinker Peter Joseph onto what are, for the most part, orthodox classical Arabic songs. The mix doesn't quite gel -- sweeping strings, Atlas' melismatic voice and...economic theory? -- but the glitchy "Batkallim" and the melancholic jazz of "Nafourat Al Anwar" redeem her new direction.
Sarah Bardeen
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