Yasmine Hamdan - Al Jamilat (Crammed Discs)

With 'Al Jamilat' ("the beautiful ones"), Yasmine Hamdan, the female half of Lebanese underground-duo Soapkills, presents her second solo effort. For the recording of the album she took to Sonic Youth's studio in Hoboken, New Jersey, where she reworked the 11 demos she'd recorded during train rides, on airplanes and in hotel rooms, collaborating with Steve Shelley (who is also took care of the drum parts on the album), multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily and producers Luke Smith and Leo Abrahams. All songs on 'Al Jamilat' are original compositions, with the title track, an ode to femininity, being the only exception, as it is a musical interpretation of a poem written by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Hamdan sings in a variety of Arab dialects, but if you haven't mastered them and are wondering what Yasmine's songs are all about, the singer explains: "As for my own lyrics, my top ten list of topics are relationships, manipulation, self-reflection, self-mocking, deception, lust, sin, fear, love and rebellion.". With her Western indie pop and Arabic vocals, Yasmine Hamdan proves "world music" can and should work in two directions.


Added: Mar 13, 2017