Global Citizen

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Backstory looms large here: in childhood, Los Angeles firebrand Fereshta was smuggled out of Afghanistan by parents disguised in tribal wear, fleeing both Soviet communist and Mujahideen Taliban rule. (They emigrated to the U.S., sponsored by a Baptist church.) She dedicates Global Citizen to their courage, and honors them by protesting retrograde attitudes toward women back home on "Untie My Hands," using regional cultural signposts: sitar and tabla raga. You can feel the tug of ancestry on "Motherland," sorry for relatives lost to bombings, imprisonment, shrapnel, shell shock, and lack of hospitals. But you cheer her invitation to play Kabul at the first Central Eastern Rock Festival, bringing her alternative hard rock home -- like Jewel playing Guess Who/Grand Funk Railroad riffs ("Amends") with Lenny Kravitz ("Global Citizen").

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