TURKEY / USA – Faruk has been a fixture on the American world music scene since the 1970’s. He sings and plays a wide range of instruments, but his primary vehicle is the ney (reed flute). This album focuses on 3 aspects of love: religious, romantic, and the love of life. The only problem is that collaborator and producer Steve Shehan wrecks a lot of the music’s delicacy and authenticity with droning keyboards and too much layering. The album is WAAAAY overproduced, but a few tracks overcome that and are worth listening to.
RECOMMENDED TRACKS: 1, 4, 11… and I like #2 (sue me)
01. 5:54 – Sufi song from Eastern Turkey: dragging tempo, moaning vocals, dramatic
02. 5:05 – Lively Sufi song gets the new-age pop treatment, but somehow it works.
04. 4:45 – Low-key Bulgarian… flamenco?! Guitar, oud, vox float over a quick synth rhythm.
07. 10:01 – Medley of Sufi compositions: slow, darkly mystical, droning and hypnotic
09. 5:16 – Gauzy fantasy that gradually builds up steam; self-consciously exotic but okay.
10. 5:02 – Bellydance music with synth backing & electric bass.
11. 6:27 – Love song from Azerbaijan: good duet vocals, surging rhythm, much drama
12. 5:51 – Israeli song: atmospheric intro, good duet vox in a soulful setting; too much synth!