Return of the pop king

Sarah El Sirgany
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Amr Diab’s new album Kammel Kalamak (Finish Your Words) was due for a summer release but was postponed more than once.The August 17 release was first postponed in mourning over the death of Saudi King Fahd Bin Abdel Aziz Al-Saud and the victims of the Sharm El-Sheikh terrorist attack. Then rumors circulated that Diab hadn’t handed the master tape to his production company Rotana for another slated Eid release date. Upon its release early this month, Diab’s dedicated fans lined up to buy the album.

Diab’s glossy, chiseled face gracing the album cover and his surprisingly ever younger appearance promised an unconventional musical. But the musical content was mainly like his previous releases. Still, the album is no disappointment to his fans, after all the typical Diab songs are the ones that soar to the top the music charts.

The songs vary from oriental classics like “Agheeb (I Stay Away) and “We Hikaytek Aih (What’s Your Story), to tunes that lack any Arab touch like “Aiam We Bene’eshha which has a global contemporary beat.

Most of the songs are uplifting, even when the lyrics talk about longing for loved ones. “Kammel Kalamak the title track is an elevating number, combining beats, a bit of electronica and instrumentals. It has much hit potent ional in the commercial music world with its catchy bits like “la-le-la-le-la which Diab repeatedly belts out.

There are a few great ballads too on the album including “Oddam Eyounak (Before Your Eyes). A typical Diab type of hit the song stands somewhere between a ballad and a dance tune.

Diab enlisted the help of four prominent lyricists Amir Te’ema, Khaled Tag Eldeen, Ayman Bahgat Amar and Bahaa El Deen Mohamed.Yet the album doesn’t talk about any thing but relationships. Although the theme was mundane a couple of songs stand out with touching words. Coupled with Diab’s affectionate vocals the two slow numbers, “Agheeb (I Stay Away) “Aywa Ana Aref (Yes I know), are bound to get listeners to the replay button.

There is more variety on the music side although Diab’s signature identity as a musician is all over the album; he composed two songs himself and contributed to another. Amr Mostafa composed four. But the reason behind the slight sense of repetition could be that Tarek Madkour arranged seven of the 10 featured tracks.

The relative variety however, stems from the different instruments featured on each track; from guitarists Uoso and Joan Cero to oriental drummer Essa Abdel Rady and flute player Reda Beder, all musicians on the album cover.

The piano intro to “We Maloh (What’s Wrong?) and Diab’s heartfelt performance throughout it puts the song in a prominent spot, making a potential hit single.

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