Sahra [17 Tracks]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Don Snowden
If Khaled and N'ssi N'ssi introduced Cheb Khaled and incorporated rai into the hip, global dancefloor mix, the gleaming production and lush arrangements on Sahra leave no doubt that the French pop mainstream is the target here. It worked -- "Aïcha" was a breakthrough pan-European pop hit, and even though the disc jumps around from song to song and style to style, it still basically hangs together. The lack of flow is understandable because it's a total patchwork effort -- three tracks produced by Clive Hunte in Jamaica with reggae session heavyweights, three songs produced by Don Was in L.A. with high-priced session heavyweights, one with Marseilles rappers Iam, and the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Don Snowden
If Khaled and N'ssi N'ssi introduced Cheb Khaled and incorporated rai into the hip, global dancefloor mix, the gleaming production and lush arrangements on Sahra leave no doubt that the French pop mainstream is the target here. It worked -- "Aïcha" was a breakthrough pan-European pop hit, and even though the disc jumps around from song to song and style to style, it still basically hangs together. The lack of flow is understandable because it's a total patchwork effort -- three tracks produced by Clive Hunte in Jamaica with reggae session heavyweights, three songs produced by Don Was in L.A. with high-priced session heavyweights, one with Marseilles rappers Iam, and the rest by Frenchmen Jean-Jacques Goldman and Philippe Eidel. The credits make it seem likely that the overseas tracks were recorded there and then shipped to Paris for final touches. Real strings add an Arabic touch to the convincing title track, while "Oran Marseille Oran Mix" starts with kazoo, of all things, and winds up as kind of a high-tech, tweaked roots rai with a pronounced Jamaican organ. Written by Goldman/Khaled and sung in French, "Aïcha" sports a magnetic hook carried by Khaled's vocal charisma over a nice mid-tempo trot and atmospheric keyboards. After that reasonably cohesive start, Sahra goes all over the map. The strings on "Hey Ouedi" are more light Euro-classical than Arabic pop majestic not surprising since the players are French, while "Detni Essekra" is almost old-style Europop lounge music with tinkling piano, rich accordion, and Bernard Paganotti's acoustic bass. The synths alternating between Arab strings and galloping prog rock sounds make the chic, upscale Euro-disco set the likely target for "Le Jour Viendra." Mexican rocker Saul Hernandez sings Spanish verses on "Ki Kounti," a nondescript Saharan-sirocco-meets-SoCal-Santa-Ana-desert reggae tune. The tentative "Haya Haya" shows the pitfall of attempting Khaled's style blend -- you hear that the L.A. musicians haven't gotten the feel down, and the song suffers. But the flip side is just as apparent on "Mektoubi," where the Jamaicans nail down the groove, Dean Fraser lets loose with an unusually rowdy sax solo, and Khaled fits his vocals in perfectly. Sahra is slick international pop which Khaled, with his Algerian roots, used mostly as flavoring. He's pretty much taken his Western pop influence right to the limit of where the watered-down crossover criticisms he receives become valid. It's calculated and slick and not the place to start if you want to hear where he came from, but the music stays on the right side of overdone -- just barely. [Wrasse released a 17-track version of the album in 2005.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/23/2005
  • Label: Wrasse Records
  • UPC: 875232005327
  • Catalog Number: 154
  • Sales rank: 260,551

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sahra (4:12)
  2. 2 Oran Marseille (5:08)
  3. 3 Aïcha (4:19)
  4. 4 Lillah (4:24)
  5. 5 Ouelli el Darek (3:11)
  6. 6 Detni Essekra (4:58)
  7. 7 Walou Walou (4:17)
  8. 8 Ki Kounti (4:40)
  9. 9 Wahrane Wahrane (4:40)
  10. 10 Haya Haya (4:37)
  11. 11 Mektoubi (3:55)
  12. 12 Hey Ouedi (4:12)
  13. 13 Oran Marseille (4:25)
  14. 14 Sratli (4:36)
  15. 15 Le Jour Viendra (4:43)
  16. 16 Aïcha (5:11)
  17. 17 Ouelli el Darek (4:41)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Khaled Primary Artist, Indexed Contributor, Keyboards
Rita Marley Background Vocals
Judy Mowatt Background Vocals
Tony Williams Drums
Sharon Forrester Background Vocals
Guy Bertrand Oboe
Lenny Castro Percussion
Mohsein Chentouf Percussion, Bendir, Derboukha
Pierre Chereze Guitar, Charango
Vincent Courtois Cello
Philippe Eidel Bouzouki, Kazoo, Keyboards, Balafon, Bakdav
Brandon Fields Saxophone
Dean Fraser Saxophone
Vin Gordon Brass
Marcia Griffiths Background Vocals
Nicolas Krassik Violin
Abraham Laboriel Sr. Bass
Robert Lyn Keyboards
David Madden Brass
Jamie Muhoberac Keyboards
Bernard Paganotti Bass, String Bass
Slim Pezin Guitar
Michito Sánchez Percussion
Nadine Sutherland Background Vocals
Abdallah Terkmani Guitar
Lee Thornburg Trombone, Trumpet
Valerie de Nattes Violin
Pierre Olivier Govin Saxophone
Randy Jacobs Guitar
Cat Coore Guitar
Djamel Ben Yelles Violin
Mustapha Kada Accordion, Keyboards
Serge Plume Trumpet
Bubbler Waul Keyboards
Rolando Wilson Drums
Hafid Saidi Drums
Paco Charlery Percussion
Frank Choukroun Cello
Marc de Nattes Violin
Phil Abraham Trombone
Tony Ruption Williams Drums
Technical Credits
Eric Benzi Arranger, Programming, Engineer
Dan Bosworth Engineer
Philippe Eidel Arranger, Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Jean-Jacques Goldman Composer, Producer
Laurent Gueneau Engineer
Clive "Azul" Hunt Producer, Audio Production
Rik Pekkonen Engineer
Roland Romanelli Arranger
Don Was Producer, Audio Production
Shane Brown Producer
IAM Composer
Saul Hernández Composer
Mustapha Kada Composer
Jane Oppenheimer Staff
Imhotep Producer
Shurik'n Composer
Khaled Hadj Brahim Composer
Adem Fathie Composer
Akhenaton Arranger, Composer, Producer
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