Album 2

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Album 2 contains possibly the clearest representation of Alabina's sound. The Arabic "Salma Ya Salama" flows seamlessly into the flamenco of "Ya Mama Ya Mama", which sets the tone for the rest of the album, demonstrating the striking fusion of Middle Eastern textures, flamenco guitar riffs and modern Euro club beats that make up Alabina's music. The flamenco-flavored version of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is an interesting experiment, as is their cover of "Habibi", a song made famous by Egyptian singer Amr Diab. By contrast, "Somos Gitanos" sounds like an Arabic-flavored Gypsy Kings song, and "Me Encuentro En Tu Desierto" ("I Find Myself in Your Desert") is a synth-heavy MOR ballad. The slick production and occasional synthesizers give the album much more of a pop sheen than most world music albums, which sometimes makes it seem a bit lightweight, but the musicianship of the backing group, Los Ninos De Sara, is still impressive, and singer Ishtar's voice is distinctive enough to give it an edge. Fans of world pop looking for a danceable, Arabic-flavored sound should give Album 2 a listen.

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