Amr Diab: Banadeek Ta’ala
As per usual with Amr Diab’s albums, the
whole of Egypt seemed to be on the edge of their seats waiting for the release
of Banadeek Ta’ala (I’m Calling You,
Come). And as always, the anticipation has been so high that once again songs
were leaked online before the official release. However, even the online leaks
didn’t stop queues of fans from lining up outside shops, waiting patiently to
get their copies.
The album is made up of twelve songs, and
the first thing that strikes you about the sound is that it has a predominantly
upbeat tone. Think themes of romance and dancing; so the usual of Amr Diab.
The first song, which also happens to be
the title track, barely features any of Diab’s vocals to speak of, but does
fuse a house beat with an oud melody brilliantly. ‘Hala Hala’ follows, and
is one of those upbeat romantic numbers that talks about a great life-changing
‘Ma’darsh Ana’ is one of the highlights of
the album. It has one of the more oriental sounds, and takes you back to
old-school Amr Diab. This is followed by another highlight in ‘Aloomek Leih’,
which talks about two lovers drifting apart. The
following ‘Ma’aak Bartaah’ is another house-influenced track with a very
familiar but very catchy melody.
‘Ya Reit Senak’ marks a bit of a void; it
isn’t the worst song in the world; but it doesn’t live up to the preceding
songs’ standards. The subject matter – he’s fallen for a girl who’s too young –
is beyond awkward and its lyrics will leave some listeners cringing. ‘Maaly
Enaya’ is exactly the type of songs you’ll hear at weddings and other likewise
over-the-top Egyptian celebratory events. It just makes you want to get up and
‘Heya Hayaty’ offers much of the same, before
we see a change of pace with ‘Yom
Matabelna’. This song marks a softer tone and sees Diab at his smoothest and
most romantic, and would make the perfect first dance at a wedding.
Skipping over the unremarkable ‘Aghla Min
Omry’, we get to the last two songs, both of which Diab has performed for a few
years at his gigs. Although they have been part of his repertoire, these recordings
are completely different instrumentally, especially ‘Tagrobah we ‘Adet,’ which
features minimal vocals. The one constant is the chorus, which is repeated to
the point that it might grate on you.
All in all, this is a safe but ultimately
triumphant return for Diab. Banadeek
Ta’ala never really steers far from what we expected; but then if it isn’t
broken, why fix it?
You can buy the album from Amr Diab’s