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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Album review: Amr Diab shows why he remains on top with solid new effort

The Egyptian pop stalwart is in fine form with another effervescent release.

Amr Diab gives the fans what they want with Meaddy El Nas
Amr Diab gives the fans what they want with Meaddy El Nas

Meaddy El Nas

Amr Diab

(Nay)

That Egypt’s Amr Diab remains the king of Arabic pop after three decades is down to him casting a wider net when it comes to inspiration.

While Diab pays homage to modern Egyptian musical traditions – his lyrics are filled with colloquial terms – his muse always pointed to the Mediterranean.

This trademark approach is all over his new album, Meaddy El Nass (roughly translated to Let People Be). The album, his 31st release, is another winning mix of effervescent pop, Arabic folk and ballads that are mostly underscored with healthy dose of flamenco music.

That said, the 55-year-old is not purely stuck in his lane. The catchy single Alby Etmannah has a propulsive club beat, yet it is subtle enough not to drown out Diab’s yearning vocals.

The Spanish guitars and accordions are out for the title track, with Diab once again delivering a hook that is equally uplifting yet wistful.

Old school fans should also enjoy Nghamet El Herman, which is a vintage slice of Egyptian pop. Diab’s double tracked vocals are as smooth as butter over the oriental percussion, ney and accordion.While not exactly game-changing, the streamlined Meaddy El Nass is the sound of a master enjoying his craft.

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