Friday, November 26, 2010

CD Review: Souad Massi's 'O Houria'

Souad Massi
O Houria (Liberty)
Wrasse Records
Algerian-born and France-based, Souad Massi, releases yet another superb release of French-tinged pop music. Steeped in French music traditions, O Houria represents an infectious and mature album that does not contain one weak track. The magnificent musicianship by the vocalist and guitarist is especially evidenced on the catchy opener "Samira Meskina", country-influenced "Une Lettre A...Si H'med", the folksy "Tout Ce Que J'aime", the laid-back ballad "Khabar Kana", the piano ballad and duet with Paul Weller on "Let Me Be In Peace", and the bluesy "Enta Ouzahrek". Souad sings in French, English, and Arabic. As a whole, the music is catchy, but not too loud or vocally-forced. The relatively reserved instrumental sounds originate from the bass, piano, guitars, drums, banjo, ukulele, bouzouki, mandolin, oud, and accordion. In essence, the suave and sensual Souad Massi delivers on all accords. ~ Matthew Forss

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