4.2 33
by Sarah Brightman

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Soprano star Sarah Brightman goes global with Harem, offering a richly flavored album of songs with an exotic twist. Ranging from the vibrant title track, with its hints of Arabia, to numbers based on familiar classics ("Stranger in Paradise," "It’s a Beautiful Day"), the disc dips into world-beat territory while showcasing the multi-million-selling artist’s…  See more details below


Soprano star Sarah Brightman goes global with Harem, offering a richly flavored album of songs with an exotic twist. Ranging from the vibrant title track, with its hints of Arabia, to numbers based on familiar classics ("Stranger in Paradise," "It’s a Beautiful Day"), the disc dips into world-beat territory while showcasing the multi-million-selling artist’s haunting voice. The roster of guest stars spans the globe, including British violinist Nigel Kennedy, Iraqi singer Kazem al-Sahir, and many others. Also available: the limited edtion with a bonus DVD.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Aaron Latham
Adopting a Middle Eastern flavor to enhance her blend of classical and new age pop, Sarah Brightman's Harem continues her experimentation with thematic discs that began with 1993's oceanic Dive. These themes, while never dominant or original, are simply meant to enhance her brand of crossover just enough to keep listeners interested in hearing her next project. Harem accomplishes that feat by shrouding new age pop songs in a thin Middle Eastern veil that disguises, but never completely covers, Brightman's true musical identity. It works well when she fully utilizes the theme, as on the opening title track where Brightman's fragile operatic voice is able to capture the traditional phrasing without sounding forced. But when the formula simply dresses up a pop/dance song like "The Journey Home," the results are less interesting and cross into territory already explored by the group Enigma and its worldly hits. Elsewhere, Brightman appears to have been taking classes at the Kate Bush vocal institute, sounding eerily similar to the English thrush on the quiet tracks "What You Never Know" and "Free," her writing collaboration with Sophie B. Hawkins. Retaining her classical leanings, Brightman successfully incorporates "Un Bel Di," from Puccini's Madame Butterfly, into the surging beats of "It's a Beautiful Day," her best attempt at creating a chart-worthy hit. Middle Eastern music stars like Kazem al-Saher and the late Ofra Haza lend an air of authenticity, while the tasteful arrangements by former Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman refrain from overpowering Brightman's voice or sinking into an Arabian parody. The disc gets a bit long by the time it reaches the unnecessary standard "Stranger in Paradise," but Brightman's Harem adventure is interesting enough to have listeners packed and ready to travel with her on another musical journey.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Angel Records

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sarah Brightman   Primary Artist,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Soprano (Vocal)
Ofra Haza   Vocals
London Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble,Track Performer
Nigel Kennedy   Violin,Soloist
Chris Thompson   Vocal Ad-Libs
Bach Choir   Choir, Chorus
Natacha Atlas   Vocals
Martin Frosty Beedle   Drums
Jaz Coleman   Vocals
Peter Weihe   Guitar,Sitar
Trevor Barry   Bass
Frank Peterson   Percussion,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Abdel Al Aboud   Violin,Soloist
Gunther Laudahn   Background Vocals
Rony Barrak   Percussion
Reda Bedaire   Nay
Gregorian   Choir, Chorus
Aboud Abdel Ali   Violin
Michael Soltau   Piano,Keyboards
Mike Reed   Conductor
Matthias Meissner   Keyboards
Prague Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble,Track Performer
Jonathan Penton   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Lukas Hilbert   Background Vocals,Electric Sitar
Nina Bromham   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Jiri Burda   Mandolin
Adam Klemens   Conductor
Ibrahim Fathie   Kavala
Chiara Ferrau   Narrator
Sarah Leatherbarrow   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Adrian Partington   Conductor
Amir Abdel Magid   Kanoon
Stephan Moccio   Piano
Andrew Playfoot   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Anna Samant   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Shweta Shetty   Vocals,Background Vocals,Vocal Ad-Libs
Dean Hussain   Vocals
Reda Bdir   Nay
Kadim Al Sahir   Vocals
Christopher Thompson   Vocal Ad-Libs
Kuljid Bhamra   Percussion,Tabla
Natasha Atlas   Background Vocals
Michael Reed   Conductor
Violet   Background Vocals
Rony Barrack   Percussion

Technical Credits

Alexander Borodin   Composer
Giacomo Puccini   Composer
Ofra Haza   Composer
Sarah Brightman   Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Adaptation
Sophie B. Hawkins   Composer,Lyricist
Bezalel Aloni   Composer,Lyricist
Peter Asher   Management
Don Black   Composer,Lyricist
Jaz Coleman   Orchestration
George Douglas   Composer,Lyricist
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
Rob O'Connor   Art Direction
John Luard Timperley   Engineer
George David Weiss   Composer,Lyricist
Lubos Novacek   Engineer
Frank Peterson   Composer,Programming,Lyricist,Producer,Engineer,Adaptation
Niall Acott   Engineer
Paul Bateman   Orchestration
Klaus Hirschburger   Composer,Lyricist
Sue Mallett   Contributor
A.R. Rahman   Composer,Lyricist
Roxanne Seeman   Composer
George Forrest   Composer
Michael Soltau   Programming,Engineer
Ferrer Trinidade   Composer
Christopher von Deylen   Composer,Lyricist,Adaptation
Andrew Dudman   Engineer
Matthias Meissner   Composer,Programming
Thomas Schwartz   Composer
Nicola Hitchcock   Composer
Saul Freeman   Composer
Lukas Hilbert   Composer
John Timperly   Engineer
Mat Bartrum   Engineer
Brian Johnson   Lyricist
Christian Draude   Programming
Sameh Hamandi   Engineer
Cenek Kotzman   Engineer
Stephan Moccio   Composer,Lyricist
Samuel Pospisil   Engineer
Dennis Preiss   Engineer
Shweta Shetty   Composer,Lyricist
Patrick Benzner   Composer,Lyricist
Kristian Draude   Composer,Programming,Lyricist
Mat Bartram   Engineer
Kareem Al Iraqi   Lyricist
Cenek Kotzmann   Engineer
Violet   Lyricist
Fred E. Goldring   Legal Counsel
Robert Wright   Composer

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Customer Reviews

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Harem 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Harem is Sarah Brightman's BEST album to date. The music is amazing!!!! Should be a big seller in the USA, when it is released.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is much different from Timeless, Eden and La Luna, but Sarah’s great soprano voice is as beautiful as ever. She is so talented. Sarah’s voice shone with joy. You can hear her warm-heartedness and arrangement in every word she sings throughout this album. Harem is a brilliant album. The song HAREM takes you on a fantasy-voyage into the Arabian Nights (1001 nights fairy-tales). The song has a mysterious Oriental sound. The song “Cancao do Mar” is used for HAREM. Sarah’s voice is so beautiful, very bright and crystal-clear. Great rhythm. Sarah sings passages from Puccini’s “Un bel di vedremo”, from Madama Butterfly during IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY. It would be phenomenal to hear Sarah sing the original versions of “Vissi d’arte” by Puccini and “Casta Diva” by Bellini. THE JOURNEY HOME from the Indian musical “Bombay Dreams” has a fresh rhythm. Sarah sings it incredible with her lovely voice. MYSTERIOUS DAYS, fantastic song. Ofra Haza (a Jewish female singer, who sadly passed away 3 years ago) has a fabulous beautiful voice too. Ofra’s and Sarah’s voices suit each other perfectly. The song has a great dance beat. THE WAR IS OVER (fortunately). Sarah sings it marvellous. She sings duet with an Iraqi singer Kazem Al-Sahir. He sings in Arabic: “Welcome all people of the world”. ARABIAN NIGHTS. Great beat. Again a voyage-song, like you are travelling on a flying carpet and seeing exotic places. Sarah sings even in Hindi (Indian). Wonderful. STRANGER IN PARADISE is from “Prince Igor” (Polovtzian Dance). A magnificent song and melody. Sarah sings it superior. Rhythm and style a bit like TIME TO SAY GOODBYE. UNTIL THE END OF TIME, is like a fantasy-voyage. You travel in your mind to the sound of Sarah’s amazing voice. When you buy a CD with Sarah, you always get MUCH MORE than you pay for. This album is not just another brick in the wall, but a milestone in the music-universe – like the other Sarah-albums.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first heard that Sarah was coming out with another album, I thought "Yes!" Then when I heard snippets of the songs on the album, I instantly fell in love with the first track, Harem, but I wasn't so sure about the other songs. I thought this would be another "Dive" CD (Dive has to grow on you I think) but no. I took the time to listen to the entire CD (Austrialian Version) and couldn't believe it. I loved Sarah's music before, but her new CD just proves it why I love her music and her voice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the moment you hear the title track *Harem*, the infectious melody then it's pulsating beat will make you want to learn how to belly-dance! Brightman is in full form on this new collection of arabic-inspired songs that only her voice could compliment. Sarah has that elusive and captivating quality that makes her sound global. From her soothing rendition of *What a wonderful world*, to the classical remake of *Stranger in paradise*, *Harem* is a very easy album to listen to. Faster more up-tempo songs include *The journey home* and *You take my breath away*. Inspirational moments include the soaring *The war is over*, and the dazzling *Until the end of time*. Brightman has once again created a concept-album continuing her success of *eden* and *la luna*, *Harem* shines alone as a very unique piece in a very unique time. Brightman not only entertains us with some of the most beautiful musical pieces in the world, but re-assures us not to put away the middle east due to pending conflicts. She allows us to embrace culture, music, and languages we'd never hear otherwise. Praise to Sarah Brightman for ingenuity and grace, and congratulations on another artistic achievement. i can't wait for the tour!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is so beautiful with so many different themes. Sarah's voice is full of emotion and inspiraton. Harem and Free are both my favorites. I love the Arabian feel she brings out through her lyrics. The instruments and voices are so enchanting to listen to. All of Sarah's work is wonderful because she has such a voice and puts so much feeling in her words. I love Harem and I know you will too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a little apprehensive having read previews about it being move heavily laced with techno dance beat and fearing that an album titled ‘harem’ might be rather too middle eastern flavored for me. I was totally hooked after listening to the first track ‘Harem’. This album far exceeded my expectation and early trepidation. I LOVED IT. At certain junctures of certain songs, they evoke and promote flashbacks to scenes from Lord of the Rings, Matrix Reloaded, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, etc. Song to song, it is addictive, exhilarating and uplifting. I do not comprehend why the title track and album is named ‘Harem’. The song ‘Harem’ can easily be ‘Adobe’ ‘Palace’ instead of the rather more female alienating concept of Harem. Music is for enjoyment and appeasement of the ears, so be it that I dispute the title. This CD confirms that the best of Sarah Brightman is yet to come. Her lyrics, her goddess voice, this new techo direction is definitely my kind of music. I want modern operatic singing nirvana with some excitement and this takes the cake. I’ll be in heaven had the DVD been produced for 5.1 surround sound. I equate this to being offered a dessert you did not think you’d like, but you are in heaven after one morsel. Totally 5 STARS.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bold, beautiful and mysterious. That sums it up to me! She has done it again, another THEME album that is truly innovative. What's not to like?
Guest More than 1 year ago
She has done it again. I love this album, I am entranced with it. Its flair of middle east romance is truly inspiring for me to write too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is no such thing as an album with Sarah Brightman's voice as being anything less than outstanding. She is the most talented diva on the entire planet and Harem is truly a work of art. Hearing a duet with the magnificent late Ofra Haza is an added bonus to the best CD I've heard all year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another awesome CD from the angel of music whose versatility never ceases to amaze me. This CD is completely different from anything she has previously recorded but it is Sarah's VOICE which is always beautiful. What a wonderful idea to include a duet with the late Israeli singer, Ofra Haza, another one of the world's geatest divas. I recommend this CD highly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Harem" is a triumphant CD for Sarah Brightman. This newest effort by the glorious singer is rich in sound, texture, and ambience. As the title suggests it has a middle eastern sound, but it blends elements of opera inspired vocals and epic orchestrations. It is her best CD to date, and that is saying a lot after "Eden". This is a definite must have for all Sarah Brightman fans, and it is a wonderful introduction to the singer for those who are not familiar with her work. Try it, you'll love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Harem is one of Sarah Brightman's best cd's. If you have never heard Sarah, this is a great place to start!! Her voice alone would be enough to sell this cd (there is also one on this site with a wonderful dvd on the making of Harem), but she includes many people we might never have heard and enjoyed. Nigel Kennedy's violin solos on Free and The War Is Over, make you want to hear more of his work. Ofra Haza, on Mysterious Days, has a voice that blends so well with Sarah's. Kadim Al Shir, on The War Is Over, completes the mideast feel of Harem. Overall, Sarah has done it again with a great cd I will enjoy for a long time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once again, Sarah Brightman gives her fans what they want the most, simply her voice and beautiful music!!! Like all her albums in the past, there is a running theme here, this CD has a Middle Eastern essence to it. This is a real treat, there are many pieces that give us some great dance music, like the title cut "Harem", and the incredible 5 part "Arabian Nights". While others are more deeply emotional songs that we've all come to expect from her, such as "The Journey Home", "Free" and "The War is Over". There's a lot to listen to, to include some beautiful, albeit not enough, violin playing of Nigel Kennedy. She does a couple duets with the late Ofra Haza of Israel, and Kadim Al Sahir, one of Iraq's prominant singers, who also, we would wish he had had a larger singing part in "The War is Over". There's a lot of wonderful complicated musical mixing thank to the master Frank Peterson who once again teams with Sarah Brightman to give us this truly delightful taste of another part of the world!!! I would highly recommend it to all her die-hard fans, which there are MANY, and also to the first time curious.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Looked forward to this and was very disappointed. Doesn't deserve one star. I am returning it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the music & vocals are excellent
Guest More than 1 year ago
Harem, Ms. Brightman's latest album, can very well be considered more offensive to the Arab people than most post-9/11 ethnic slurs. This disc combines shrill vocals, forced vibrato, and apalling instrumentals to create something more ghastly and embarrassing than I can describe in such an abbrieviated review. "Wonderful World" has a horror all its own, one that could be grounds for a lawsuit brought against Ms. Brightman by the heirs of Louis Armstrong. After this assault on the ears, it is wise to turn off the CD player altogether. The rest of the album is merely the strident voiced singer's obnoxious theatricallity and an attitude more affected than Boston's entire old money class combined. The physical album itself, including CD booklet is just as, if not rather more, disgusting. This middle-aged woman, acting as though she should be in a harem herself, shamelessly flaunts her tired, strung out, malnourished body and that long mop of split ends on her head. The one halfway decent song, the final number "Take My Breath Away" is a remake of a song from a past album and certainly does not suffice to make up for the entire sorry mess the listner was subjected to. In short, unless you listen to the smoke detector's alarm for entertainment, save your money and dignity and stay far away from Sarah Brightman and her harem.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say that this by far is my favorite CD. I listen to it everday before and after work. It has a combination of calming and uplifting music. I would definately recommend buying this CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
thats how long ill be a sarah fan. harem is a wonderfully rich aural escape into the mystery of the middle east. highlights are Its a beautiful day its very similiar to her hit A question of honor. then there is the journey home, from the musical Bombay dreams-one of the best tracks-mysterious days, and Until the end of time are also tops. if you want a lush layered musical vacation this is your destination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brightman's latest offering is a disappointing diversion from the vocals of a soprano that she has cultivated in recent years. Following the likes of Sting down the middle-eastern path, her simpering offerings are reminiscent of her pre-Lloyd Webber days, when her voice lacked classical training.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Full of good symphonic musical quality, still lacking in the "exotic" & authentic tones which it is supposed to have. This soprano sounds forced & falsetto. Leave the vocals out & you may have a decent new age "sound of the world". If you are looking for an "Arabic" feel, try Shakira's album "Laundry Service" track 11...that's how it should sound.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like quality and beauty, then Sarah has it over any of the female singers. She sings from the heart and remembers the lyrics and can break a glass with her great vibrating voice. Other singers as of late, fill in da da oh oh etc like they forgot the words and stretch out a three minute national athem to five minutes of torture. Seen her concert here in Auburn Hills,MI Feb. 9th and it was super. The main theme was HAREM and all the artists and music did terrific with standing ovations and "I LOVE YOU SARAH" shouted out after one of her best numbers that increased the applause with her response of "I LOVE YOU". She presents her voice that she can sing past popular male singers renditions and be appreciated by a wide audiance. Don't judge the Theme of HAREM, just listen to the VOICE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is her best album. with its middle eastern rythem in harem and Arabian Nights to the lovely mealody of Beautiful. this is a must have for any true Sarah Brightman fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Harem is a true masterpiece to listen to. all the songs really express her maturity. a really good buy.