Sarah Brightman Photos Â Â Â Â Â Â More from Sarah Brightman Time to Say Goodbye Diva: The Singles Collection Eden Diva: The Video Collection Live from Las Vegas La Luna (Live in Concert) If one's notion of "world music" promises a touch of the exotic and indigenous, often overlooked is the fact that the influence of western pop music has seeped into every corner of the globe, creating a hybrid that's often more than merely the sum of its influences. Theater vet Brightman steps into that pan-cultural hall of mirrors here, wedding her fascination with the music and rhythms of the "forbidden places" (the title's Arabic meaning) of the Middle East to her own oft ethereal vocal charms and rock-solid sense of drama. And if the diva's equally sound crossover sensibilities (and that of longtime producer Frank Peterson) sometimes mire it in familiar world-beat pastiche, Brightman's charmed muse manages some transcendent moments nonetheless. Her musical borrowings (Borodin for the title track; Puccini's *Madame Butterfly* for "It's a Beautiful Day") are as compelling as her choice of collaborators: classical violin star Nigel Kennedy and Iraqi vocalist Kadim Al Sahir add compelling touches to the weary timeliness of "The War is Over." The musical influences range from Europe across the Mediterranean and as far East as the Indian roots of "Bollywood" composer A.R. Rahman's "The Journey Home" and Brightman's own "You Take My Breath Away" to evocative recastings of the emblematic standards "Stranger in Paradise" and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," while ex-Killing Joke keyboardist Jaz Coleman provides the savory East-meets-West orchestrations that ensure Brightman's star turns the seamless foundations they deserve. --Jerry McCulley
Jesus at the Center is the first live recording in 5 years from Israel & New Breed since their critically acclaimed Grammy award-winning album, A Deeper Level. Recorded live with thousands of worshippers at Pastor Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, this 2-disc album with 17 Live Tracks and 3 studio singles sees Israel & New Breed return to their roots and deliver new modern day church anthems such as "Your Presence is Heaven," "Speechless," and the title track "Jesus At The Center."
Matisyahu, one of the most-talked about new artists of 2005 comes out with his brand new studio album Youth. The followup to his highly-acclaimed Live At Stubb's, features production by Bill Laswell, along with Jimmy Douglass and Ill Factor, and features 11 new songs including recent live favorites 'Fire of Heaven / Altar of Earth (Fire's Burning)', 'Jerusalem', 'Ancient Lullaby (Mist Risin')', and the title track, 'Youth'. Don't miss one of the most anticipated albums of 2006. Epic.
Live From Another Level, the new release from Israel and New Breed captures the truly explosive spirit of worship. This live recording takes you to a place of worship that has no denominational or ethnic boundaries Listeners are propelled into the presence of God with new songs that the whole church will embrace plus the new worship classic "Here I Am To Worship." This highly anticipated live recording is an amazing follow-up to the continually successful New Season live album.
The most-awarded Gospel Artist of 2005 returns with a live worship experience captured in an amazing 2 nights in Capetown! Alive In South Africa is the inspiring follow-up to the exploding Live From Another Level and takes the musical passion of the genre to a whole new level. Epic. 2005.
Multiculti Los Angeles-based 10-piece Ozomatli is more than the sum of their parts: hip-hop, salsa, and funk crash head-on in this surprisingly natural collaboration. Their self-titled debut makes Ozomatli sound like one of the world's great live shows--a party band with a brain--and they pull it off deftly. Rapper Chali 2na ("Charlie Tuna," get it?) has an authoritative voice and a way with words, mixing references from Edie Brickell to Ed McMahon; just he and the Cut Chemist (both of Jurassic 5), who lends his turntable skills to the proceedings, would make for an entertaining album. But it's the way that the two--when they're even featured--build on and blend into the grooves of the wah-pedal-and-brass-section-powered ensemble that sets Ozomatli apart. Danceable and engaging, they've made a promising debut. --Randy Silver
Tarkan Tarkan has enjoyed a Ricky Martin-style popularity in Turkey since the release of his second album, Aacayipsin, in 1994--it sold 2Â million copies in Turkey and Europe and foreshadowed a string of outrageously successful albums. His 1997 release, Ã–lÃ¼rÃ¼m Sana ("I Would Die for You"), sold 2Â million copies in Turkey alone, 1.5Â million being preorders. So it's no surprise that this 28-year-old star with hunky good looks opens his latest CD with the sound of a smoochy kiss on "Simarik" ("Spoilt"), one of Tarkan's most recognizable singles in Turkey. It's a killer tune, too, soaked with the heavy beats needed to keep bodies moving on the dance floor while the landsliding violins of rai build emotional tension. There are several magnetic dance tunes here, mostly collected from his earlier albums, with "Bu Gece" ("Break Free") and "Sikidim" ("Dirty Dancing") among the strongest and most popular. What's intriguing is that Tarkan is not just another pretty face; he was classically trained in Istanbul and penned most of the album's songs. Add the notion of challenging traditional Islamic values with such lyrics as "Don't dance so sexyÂ / Oh, the way you move, you drive me crazy" or "Come on, let's make loveÂ / Close your eyes," and you've got the sort of national sensation that parents might hate but the kids will love. --KarenÂ K. Hugg