Wail Like an Egyptian

Appropriately enough, the one song on Gedida where she attempts to be fun is the one that I don't like: "Mahlabeya," which she sings with godawful frenetic cheerfulness. But her other songs are intense cries, of joy and rebirth occasionally, of abandonment and confusion mostly, and as for the way she sings them the former may as well be the latter. Wailing vocals, crying words.

She’ll use any color she has.
Colin Hawkins
She’ll use any color she has.

Details

Natacha Atlas
Gedida
Beggars Banquet

And she makes the passion of sadness very sexy. (Dreiser in Sister Carrie—"As she went on frowning, looking now at one principal and now at the other, the audience began to smile. The portly gentlemen in the front rows began to feel that she was a delicious little morsel. It was the kind of frown they would have loved to force away with kisses.") I told my girlfriend that Atlas's singing reminded me of someone having nails driven through her feet, and she replied (she'd lived in the Middle East for several years) that all the women singers sound like that. Let me hasten to add that people tend not to look, act, or feel very sexy when nails are being driven through their feet. At least not in my experience. But nonetheless in music the sound of anguish does it for me. Which says something about Atlas's sensuousness after all.

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