And My Heart...

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Iranian/Armenian singer Andy Madadian is known as one of the most bootlegged artists in the world -- sold underground in countries like Iran, where the music is banned. He supposedly sells millions to the lovelorn in exotic places who enjoy his colorful mixture of trance-dance rhythms and hypnotic Middle Eastern and flamenco melodies -- and he sings in various languages (English, Spanish, Arabic, and Indian) to boot. So even if you don't know what he's singing about on "Yalla," you can still get excited about the throbbing flamenco energy. "Niloufareh Bahar" offers a unique blend of exotic atmospheres, a "la la" chorus, and a hip-hop groove, typifying his multicultural experience. "Pendulum Chie Begam" does the same thing, mixing chanting and Arabic flavors with synth atmospheres and techno grooves. He even offers a Middle Eastern twist on the very Western classic "Hotel California." The music here is certainly interesting, a mélange of just about everything -- yet his voice for all its charm just isn't all that powerful or commanding. He is, however, someone whose spirit is fun to watch -- you never know what country he'll dip himself into next.

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