Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Lebanon/Algeria [Metro Blue, 1997] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Lebanon/Algeria [Metro Blue, 1997]
The Parisian-born daughter of an Algerian nightclub owner who fled with her family to Lebanon in 1956, she shed most of her Algerian accent before hitting the Egyptian studios in 1960 and is now tabbed by an informed source as "one of the Arab world's great musical hacks." But for most Americans, this CD ain't really about Warda. Rather, her richly generic pan-Arab emotionality provides a way into Cairo's pop mysteries. Hyped up by the beats modern taste demands, the string sections of what used to be called ughniyah sound a lot fresher than TSOP's or Goldie's. And the beats have more uses than the belly-dancing websites her lyrics show up on. A-