by Dahab

Track listing: Nuweiba, Heal, Crystallized, Meezo, Al ras, Shine, Alice, Sinai, Mesk, Qabeela'h, Time, I am Gold, Dahab

If one were to take a trip to the Middle East, they will want to take Dahab’s latest record Qabeela'h along for the ride. The Dubai based band weaves rock, blues, jazz, and folk music, while immersing listeners with Arabic to achieve a sublime effort that does not disappoint.

Formed in 2004 to secure a spot on the bill for the Dubai International Jazz Festival, the band has gone on perform all over the Middle East, and has become a much sought after band for a variety of events.

Qabeela’h starts off on a good note with the song "Nuweiba." This song brings in percussion elements and a variety of ethnic instruments and sounds that will relax listeners soon after the song begins, with its meditation like vibe. The second song "Heal" deviates from the Middle Eastern influence and goes more in the direction of folk music. The vocals on this track are a bit raspy, but they fit the soft tone of the song nicely. The female vocals on this track sounded thin and do not add much to the song, though it is nice to hear a feminine touch incorporated into the song.

"Al Ras" is a song that brings the Middle East to the forefront. The song is heavy on the percussion and the flute adds hints of cultural ties for the group. The song sounds like something you would hear in a Middle Eastern movie, as this song is very reflective of the regional culture.

"Alice" is the one track that lets fans realize the depths of Dahab’s talent. Not straying from the claim that they intertwine different genres, "Alice" is the jazziest track, and the best song on the album. With a percussionist counting off “1,2,3,4” with the guitar coming in at “4”, it gives way for an intimate, easy listening experience. The piano and bass compliment the sound nicely, giving it a full-blown jazz feel.

Dahab is a band that is not to be missed and Qabeela’h is a record that will stay with the listener long after it ends.

Posted on 2/1/13