2006 / Sawa Productions
Review by Michael Debbage
After releasing an intriguing debut album, Zade’s follow up effort could not avoid the dreaded sophomore slump that many artists seem unable to avoid. Though it was a courageous move, Roads To You was very experimental at best but with some fine moments. Yet, overall it was not a focused effort. Quite the contrary with Beautiful World which puts Zade back on the road to recovery.
There are a total of 10 compositions in which 8 are originals from Zade. It is here where the artist is strongest, presenting well composed songs that merge his Jordan heritage and culture in a Western package without compromising his originality. This can be best heard by the complexities of “Your Beauty…My Madness” that integrate strains of flamenco, classical and Middle Eastern themes. On its initial visit, the song is somewhat complex, however, upon repeated visits, it forces you to concentrate and appreciate the artist’s immaculately articulation.
If you want a pure exotic and mystical point of view then check out the title track as well as “Haneen”. The title track jumpstarts the album and is loaded with exotic instrumentation that is not limited to the pulsating percussion of its rhythm section. It is effectively followed up by “Haneen” which is a little more moody and progressive with its reflective verses that are countered by its vibrant chorus. A simply sensational beginning.
As for the two cover songs, the results are a very mixed bag. Zade takes on Elias Rahbani’s 1973 composition “Musicians of the Night”. While unable to compare it with the original composition, this particular version is eloquent and grand. The other cover track is the vocal rendition of “Comes to an End” which distracts from this otherwise all instrumental disc.
Zade’s classical training is heard throughout the album but nevertheless it is integrated with the very vivacious and colorful hues of his Jordan heritage. Though not quite as vibrant and fresh as his debut, Beautiful World is certainly a return to form for this young yet mature artist. Zade continues to show to the Western world the exquisiteness and intriguing wonders of his culture. And what a Beautiful World it is.
April 22, 2006