A deliberately frothy take on an under-documented moment in US politics
She may be big mates with [a]Page & Plant[/a] and actually hail from Belgium, but there's no reason to doubt [a]Natacha Atlas[/a]' pedigree as a sophisticated Arabic chanteuse....
Somewhat disappointingly, it's the moments when Atlas clings closely to the conventions of Arabic scales and melodies that are the most captivating. As when, finger cymbals and belly beads twitching agreeably in time, she wails alluringly over sumptuous strings in 'Aqabe', or liberates her lungs to resonate in time with snake-charming percussion in 'Mistaneek'.
Less successful are her attempts to adopt the trappings of westernised hip - she raps on 'Bastet' and adopts a trip-hop warble for 'Biladi'. However, she traverses the map beautifully with a French cover of 'Mon Amie La Rose' and 'One Brief Moment' (achieved in collaboration with David Arnold) has the epic, cinematic sweep of a Bond theme.
'Gedida' is a lulling, undulating record which, while failing to close any continental gaps, is as haunting and precious as a bauble brought back from some exotic holiday.
The second album from Piper and Skylar Kaplan is danceable, euphoric and pleasingly trippy
Mumford & Sons’ collaborative steps into world music aren’t embarrassing – but they’re not essential either
The iconic DJ Shadow returns with a mixtape-like album that frustrates as much as it fascinates
A Western that revolves around a trio of gun-wielding female leads, and has a clear and consistent feminist message