Natacha Atlas

Gedida

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Natacha Atlas' third album greatly expands upon the promise of her earlier work -- on Gedida, her fusion of Arabic musical traditions and contemporary dance beats really jells, eliminating the more gimmicky dimensions of earlier records to strike a fascinating balance between old and new. While tracks like "Kifaya" and "Ezzay" magnify the cinematic aspirations of past efforts, Gedida also takes a number of fascinating left turns -- a cover of Fran├žoise Hardy's "Mon Amie la Rose" is hauntingly beautiful, while on the closing "One Brief Moment" Atlas delivers her first English-language vocal.

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