George Dalaras

Fifty Years of Rembetika Songs

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These recent recordings of 19 rembetika songs total 68 minutes. Although the title implies that Mr. Dalaras is a venerable rembete, his clear and supple voice leads one to believe that he is a newcomer, providing us with updated versions of a half century of classic pieces by Tsitsanis, Tountas, and others. As a "revivalist" work it is quite good (although purists probably hate this sort of thing), conveying much of the feeling and form of the old songs by way of the clean and simple studio recording. The arrangements are played expertly in the lilting, yet mournful Greek manner, and Dalaras's voice is plaintive and technically precise. His only shortcoming is that he fails to deliver the soulful passion that the "golden-age" singers possessed, in this praiseworthy effort to keep their music alive.