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World Music CD Reviews Middle East & North Africa


By Tom Jackson
Published March 16, 2007

Red Lullaby

Clocking in at just 22 minutes, the CD debut of New York-based, Tunisian-bred Israeli Anath has some of the hallmarks of her multinational heritage. Unfortunately, across just five tracks, the EP fails to sustain interest. Effectively, it's a sandwich: the filling is made up of a few tracks of slightly sludgy, pedestrian r'n'b, whose emoting is failed by a lack of melodic invention. The bread, though, is far more satisfying. Opener "Red Layam" catapults us into John Barry territory, a ballad full of drama, gypsy violin and pulsing piano that clearly wishes it was born a harpsichord. The finale, moreover, more than redeems the enterprise. Doubtless her live party-piece and the excuse for releasing this at all, a casbah version of Blondie's seminal "Rapture" closes the disc. Dripping in (synthesized) string ornaments and breathy vocals, it even boasts an uncredited interpolation of "Love to Love You Baby" for good measure.