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Mish Kayen Hayk T'koun
Finally! The long awaited new Fairuz album has finally arrived. It's the first new material to be officially released in many years. It was received with some caution but mostly with acceptance and pleasure. The main reason for such reserved, but limited, reception is the presence of two types of lyrics on the same album. The ones adapted from classic Arabic poetry from the likes of Qais Ibn Elmoulah were composed by Mohamed Mohsen. Mohsen wrote the music of these songs in the old classic forms as he employed the traditional instruments like the Violin and the Qannoon and in 'Uhibbo Men Al Asma'' we hear the accordion seamlessly applied in the song. Favorite songs by Mohsen on this album include 'Wa Lee Fouadon' and 'Law Ta'almeen'. He also did a nice job composing the background music for Assy's recital of 'Ja'at Mu'thibtatih' which was originally featured in the Andaloussiyat album.
It's pretty clear that Ziad didn't follow the same lyrical, or even musical, pattern with all the songs. It's widely known that the three songs 'Dak Khilkeh' (Ya Saby), 'Salmlee Alay' and 'Ishtaktellak' were all written for the 1998 Baalbeck festivals. 'Salmlee Alay' pertains the same qualities of simple words and classic Arabic music, the same kinds of characteristics featured in other celebrated works by Ziad including 'Nazl Esourour', the genius instrumental 'Belafrah', and Wahdon's 'Habbaytak Tnseet Elnoum' and Hannin for Fairuz. 'Ishtaktellak' creates the same musical complexity as in 'Feekon Tenso'; the way music and lyrics are performed, and 'Dak Khilkeh' reminded me of 'Maarifti Feek' when Fairuz was discussing with her loved one the troubles of their relationship, both great songs. The much talked about ‘Mish Kayen’ obviously got the attention because of the oddity of its lyrics. It seemed strange at first coming from Fairuz and all, but like Kifk Inta later became a classic. It's a great, fun song. As I was walking around the house, singing it to myself I couldn’t wipe a simle off my face. There is also a beautiful instrumental on which Fairuz vocalizes, much like Dianao in Kifk Inta. The beauty of these pieces of music is that they truely evoke great feelings and free colorful mental images, without setting them up with any words. It's called ‘W'Kameh’ and it really arouses the feeling of being in endless fields of wheat as Fairuz makes an unimaginable performance. In the end, this is a great new album. It's also nice to see Ziad working again after ceasing to make any new projects, even for himself, for a number of years. He is currently working on more songs for Fairuz. In the upcoming album, he will write all the songs himself.

All Songs were written by:
Ziad Rahbani (music/lyrics): Sallimleh Alayh, Dak Khilkeh, Ishtaktellak, Reprise, Mish Kayen Hayk T'koun and W'Kameh
Mohamed Mohsen (music): Ja'at Mu'thibtatih (old poem), Wa Lee Fouadon (old poem), Law Ta'lameen (old poem) and Uhibbo Men Al Asma' (poem by Qais Ibn Elmoulaouh).
Sound Engineers: Zouhir Samhoun and Ziad Rahbani
Recorded at Nota Studio
Photography: Rima Rahbani
Special thanks to Simon Shaheen (violin), Bassam Saba (Nay/Oud) in W'Kameh, Zouhir Samhoun and Ahmed Moussa. Ziad Rahbani

Other Reviews:
Alhayat: One page review (PDF)
Annahar: One review and then another.
Assafir: Two Reviews.

Album tracks:
1. Sallimleh Alayh 5'52"
2. Ja'at Mu'thibtatih 3'48"
3. Dak Khilkeh 4'06"
4. Ishtaktellak 2'27"
5. Wa Lee Fouadon 4'57"
6. Reprise 33"
7. Law Ta'lameen 4'25"
8. Uhibbo Men Al Asma' 3'17"
9. Mish Kayen Hayk T'koun 3'25"
10. W'Kameh 8'17"

Approx. time 41'05" - RELCD 699

Related Links: The complete lyrics/poems.

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