Egyptian singer Amr Diab has been releasing music since 1985. Though unknown outside of world music circles, he was at the time one of the biggest Middle Eastern singers in the world, primarily because his music melded traditional Arabic sounds and textures with Western rhythms and instruments. The mesh was dubbed Mediterranean music, and The Very Best of Amr Diab displays Diab's superb skill in creating it. "Kalby Ekhtarak," which incorporates Latin rhythms, has a Santana-like feel. Similarly, several songs, such as "El Alem Alla," mix club and techno beats to classic Middle Eastern sounds. Though Diab is not a songwriter (most of these are simple love songs), he has a voice that's strikingly versatile, veering from the ballad "Ana Mahma Kibirt Sugheir" to the high-pitched wailing of "Amarain." What's even more impressive is that even though this album is compiled from over a decade's worth of material, the songs all sound as if they were recorded at the same session, proving that early on, Diab developed a vision and has spent time carefully refining it. There may be carping over a missed selection here or there, but The Very Best of Amr Diab does its job well as an introduction to a new talent, and world music fans should find this an excellent primer.