Hindi Zahra

Handmade

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

The debut from this half-Moroccan, half-French singer/songwriter is pleasant. It has its moments that glisten, but for the most part it passes by without making a great impression. "Kiss & Thrills," which revolves around a very simple, bluesy riff, works superbly, almost hypnotic, as if someone had dropped Ali Farka Touré into North Africa alongside a female singer. The lush layered vocals of the closer, "Old Friends," set up a deliciously dreamy atmosphere, while "Stand Up" seems to mix chanson with touches of modernity to good effect and a surprising Arabic interlude. Unfortunately, the remaining eight tracks have little to make them stand out, being mostly French blandness (although largely sung in English). Zahra has talent, and a nice kittenish voice, but it all needs more development and editing.

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