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Boomkat Product Review:
Suave, jazzy fusions of Arabic folk and Brazilian bossa nova and tropicália burnished with the legendary voice of Lebabnon’s Issam Hijali
“An absolutely legendary album from Lebanon by Issam Hajali’s group Ferkat Al Ard, “Oghneya” stands out as one of the great musical gems of the Arab world. A groundbreaking release from 1978 that represents the meeting point of Arab, jazz, folk and Brazilian styles with the talent of Ziad Rahbani, who did the albums arrangements. Filled with a variety of sounds and genres, from Baroque Pop to Psych-Folk to flashes of Bossa Nova, Tropicalia and MPB, “Oghneya” is like if Arthur Verocai took a trip to Beirut in the 70’s to record an album.
Sadly there are two tracks from the original release of “Oghneya” that did not make it onto the reissue. “Ghfyara Ghaza” was replaced by the song “Juma’a 6 Hziran.” while “Huloul” was taken off without a replacement. This happened as a precondition from the band for this reissue to happen. We would have loved to include all tracks, but the decision ranged between having either a reissue like the one we put out or no reissue at all. Thus, an easy choice for us.”