Hamza Namira: Insan
Bassem Abou Arab
The theme of the album is by no means ambiguous, as Namira is very forthcoming with his lyrics; each song has a personal touch. There are no clichéd romantic sentiments present in the songs and the album as a whole deals more with social and humanitarian issues in an array of ways; it’s poignant, humorous and always meaningful.
Much has been said of the sectarian conflict in Egypt, but ‘Ebn El Watan’ (Nation’s Son) takes a refreshingly frank and untainted approach to the subject. Although he does touch on a small hope that the differences can be bridged, the song remains sombrely realistic.
‘Balady Ya Balady’ (My Country, My Country), is one of the lighter songs on the album, and leans more to Egyptian folk music as Namira sings about different parts of Egypt. ‘Ya Hanah’ takes a comical approach to criticism of the ever decreasing standards of education in Egypt.
While this is from top-to-bottom an album of traditional Egyptian pop music, the reliance on Egyptian stringed instruments is complimented by a range of different musical styling. The album was worked on and recorded in Turkey, and the influences of this can be seen in songs such as ‘Insan’ and ‘Ya Hanah’. There are also some very apparent rock-inspired sounds on ‘El Midan’, ‘Ew’edoony’ (Promise Me) and ‘Sot’ (Sound), which also include some electronic touches.
Other standout tracks include jazz number ‘Doori’ (Turn) and ‘Hansa’ (I’ll Forget), which borrows from the funk, disco and dance genres.