Harem

( 33 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
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.
All Music Guide - Aaron Latham
Adopting a Middle Eastern flavor to enhance her blend of ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
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.
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: 6/10/2003
  • Label: Angel Records
  • UPC: 724353718022
  • Catalog Number: 37180
  • Sales rank: 12,666

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
Dr. 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
Robert C. Ludwig Mastering
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

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sarah does it again!!

    Once again Sarah Brightman delivers an outstanding collection of musical variety. Her voice and music selection is superb. The middle eastern touch to some of the selections is interesting and delightful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Where's the good quality deep vibrato?

    I heard this when my mom bought it. My first thought was where's the Sarah I know? Don't make all your future music like this. It's to breathy. I eventually liked it, especially "Stranger in Paradise." I'm such a big fan of Sarah's, but Time to Say Goodbye, La Luna, Eden, Symphony, and now A Winter Symphony, are definitely better than Harem.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Horrid!

    This cd is absolutely HORRID! I usually love Sarah Brightman but this was AWFUL! This cd showed none of her usual prowess. Actually I found the music quite cheezy. This is far too low of a level for a voice as great as hers. I have loved Sarah Brightman until now, I hope she doesn't continue in this path!!! There are only 2 decent songs on here, Free and The War Is Over. Otherwise a complete dissapointment! :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Masterpiece is Correct

    Harem is everything a CD should be. A Middle Eastern mood is carried on throughout the CD, but the type of music is constantly changing. There are upbeat songs, sad songs, contemplative songs, loads of instrumentals, and the pace on this CD is excellent. Sarah has really outdone herself this time. The only problem will be following this album up. Harem: Harem is Sarah's seductive rendition of Cancao do Mar (Song of the Sea). It begins very Middle Eastern-y, but then ascends into a pulsating dance/pop song. What a Wonderful World: Sarah covers the Louis Armstrong classic. She does it well, too. It's very innocent and sweet. My only complaint is that the background music overwhelms Sarah's voice later in the song.   It's a Beautiful Day: Sarah sparks this song off with Un Bel Di, Vedremo from Madame Butterfly. Afterwards, it morphs into a beautiful pop song. Yes, Sarah, it is a beautiful day. (I just wanted to say something cheesy.) What You Never Know: The only song on the CD that makes me want to vomit. This song is too sweet and too cheesy.   The Journey Home: Another song that begins with a great deal of Middle Eastern flavor but then transforms into a dance/pop song. Sarah's reservation on this song is incredible. The mix of her softness with the throbbing background music is exceptionally beautiful. Free: One of the best. A really enchanting, seductive song. The lyrics aren't fantastic (as some of Sarah's lyrics can be) but the melody is great and the stringed instruments in the background are equally beautiful.   Mysterious Days: This is the kind of song that puts you in a good mood. This is nothing but Middle Eastern, with references of "kasbah" and the "Arabian moon." The sitars used in this song are catchy and the chorus is one you'll find yourself singing along too, even if you're not a soprano.   The War Is Over: I hated this song the first time I heard it, and now it's one of my favorites. It starts out kind of slow, but once you get to the chorus it really picks up. The Arabic singer on this song does an outstanding job. Misere Mei: A prelude to Beautiful, Misere Mei contains a wonderful choir.   Beautiful: Sarah's voice tends to be a bit high pitched and cracky on this song, but the background music and simple melody as well as the lyrics make this a song that should not be missed. Arabian Nights: Scimitar Moon/Voyage/Promise/ Hamesha/Alone: I didn't really understand this track. I didn't care for Scimitar Moon, Hamesha, or Alone, but Voyage and Promise were quite exceptional. Voyage is probably one of my favorite excerpts on the entire CD, just for the lyrics. Stranger in Paradise: This standard really didn't need to be on here, but Sarah does an exceptional job singing it nonetheless. Until the End of Time: A romantic, sexy song with even sexier lyrics. I'm not sure if the lyrics are meant to insinuate anything, but they certainly do. The background music makes this song even better. You Take My Breath Away: Ahhh, yes. This song fits much better here than on Fly. Once you get passed the extremely long intro and the first verse to the chorus, you will be overwhelmed. This song has everything... and is definitely one of my favorite songs on the CD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is the best cd she's made!

    Harem is a true masterpiece to listen to. all the songs really express her maturity. a really good buy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Her Best Album Ever!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Todays very best vocalist

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sadly hoodwinked into buying this CD

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What a Wonderful Album!!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    until the end of time

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Disappointing diversion

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome CD! Try it, you'll love it!

    "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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sarah Brightman at her best

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awful

    Looked forward to this and was very disappointed. Doesn't deserve one star. I am returning it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    all is great

    the music & vocals are excellent

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sarah Brightman at her best!!!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Oh, the humanity!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brightman At Her Best

    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!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hypnotic, mesmerizing and beautiful

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best album ever!!!!!!

    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.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews