Rachid Taha 


Five years after Cheb Mami introduced rai to mainstream America on Sting's "Desert Rose," another Algerian superstar, Rachid Taha, may have taken the genre past critical mass with a clever cover of a punk anthem. Taha outfits the Clash's "Rock the Casbah" with a more traditional Middle-Eastern feel -- it opens with a flute-and-drums intro -- and the mix of electric guitars and ouds is positively sublime, as are the Arabic vocals. But Taha isn't just flipping irony on its heels; he's making a statement to the world. His intention, it seems, is to rock the actual Kasbah -- as well as every discotheque or nightclub from Algiers to Paris to London to San Francisco. Other songs like "Safi," "Lli Fat Mat," and "H'asbu-Hum" show that Taha is on to something fresh with his Arabesque rock-funk fusion and lyrics that range from inspirational to political, while the album's title track, which translates to "Who Are You," is nothing less than a declaration of a new Arab identity -- thoroughly modern, yet rooted in tradition.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in CD Reviews

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

The Beer Issue 2020

The Decade in Review

The events and trends that shaped the Teens.

Best of the East Bay


© 2020 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation