Soha: D'ici et d'ailleurs/From Here and Elsewhere (EMI)

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Soha: Mil Pass (with Antoine Essertier
Soha: D'ici et d'ailleurs/From Here and Elsewhere (EMI)

Gotta say that although the title of this one had immediate appeal for obvious reasons this Algerian-French singer from Marseilles almost lost me at "Hello".
In the first few seconds of this album she has that "little girl" voice thing going that I thought was the sole preserve of American pop singers in their late 20s (and they and their fans are welcome to it, I live in An Adult World).
Fortunately the supple beats kick in, there are Cuban influences scattered throughout, her voice has a latent power, the accordion chugs and swoons, and while she seduces with some lovely ballads and sun-soaked melodies (the beach-friendly Ma Melancolie) there is also a jazzy quality that is very appealing as she slips past notes and the grooves lay right back.
She pulls in a bit of hip-hop and chanson too, sings in French and Spanish (and a few words in English) and is a bit hard to categorise. And that's generally a good thing.
Enjoy.

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Jamie - Dec 21, 2008

I don't think I've had an "Album of the Summer" before! We in Hawke's Bay have had a blazing late spring, early summer, and on many an evening I have sat down in the garden, as the day cools, cold beer in hand, and put this album on. Beaches, oceans, islands, colourful markets, gorgeous brown and bronzed bodies all begin to swirl around my small backyard! Evocative, groovy, sexy and eclectic are all words that spring to mind. Mmmmmm. Nice.

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