Another gem in my unending search for the great albums of the 80s, I came across the music of Fairuz, which was new to me but widely regarded as one of, if not the greatest, singer in the Arabic world, even gone so far as to be called “the soul of Lebanon”. The album in question is Maarifti Feek, recorded over four or so years in the 80s, collaborating with her son to create a more modern take on traditional Lebanese and Arabic song structures, themes and motifs. What resulted is a funky, lavish and touching record that every music lover should listen to.
The song I’ve pulled here is track #4, “Rah Nibka Sawa”, an upbeat and party-starting tune that (google) translates to “Let’s Just Stay”, featuring jubilant gang vocals, hand claps, lightning-like flute lines, thunderous orchestral backing, almost Latin-esque trumpets and a ferocious vocal performance from Fairuz. It’s a burner for sure, and I’m always a sucker for tracks that feel like there’s a whole party going on in the studio, crafting a song that you have to stop yourself from getting sucked into. The whole album, like I previously mentioned, is just fantastic. It’s a pretty basic comparison, but if you’re a city pop lover that enjoys mining the 80s for jazz fusion-touched Japanese pop records, you owe it to yourself to see how Lebanon was crafting pop music in the 80s as well. That goes for the rest of the world too. The overwhelming human urge to make music that feels good extends past the “western” world, y’all. I’m still learning, so let’s do it together. I can’t wait to listen to more of Fairuz’s music.
Pick up a reissued copy of Maarifti Feek on vinyl via WEWANTSOUNDS HERE.