Honeysuckle - Souad Massi

Wrasse Records

Souad Massi’s music is as alluring as her looks. The Algerian singer is probably the best known in the Arab world. Her approach is melancholic in the tradition of Cape Verdean morna without the chemically depressed tragedy of Portuguese fado. Her compelling voice is delicately wrapped in understated arrangements of tradition and contemporary elements, much like an Arabic equivalent of Bebel Gilberto. Honeysuckle follows on the heels of her critically acclaimed second album, Deb. It features a couple of duets with upcoming global vocalists like Mauritanian, Daby Toure, and guitarist, Pascal Danae whose contribution only dilute the strength of her presentation on this disc. Souad brings a wealth of cultural diversity to Honeysuckle on her own, from flamenco flourishes to the Malian inspired Berber fusion of ‘Inspiration’. The songs could stand without the addition of outside voices but Souad confesses, She feels uncomfortable singing in French or English, though she likes the sound of the languages. In Arabic, however, she can say the same thing ten different ways.” This is a subtly beautiful album that stands up to the rigor of repeated spins