7 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Given the involvement of Diplo’s Mad Decent label, it’s tempting to listen for an increased focus on electronic sounds on Omar Souleyman’s To Syria, with Love: Is that a hint of a house beat bubbling beneath the whoops and synth riffs of “Khayen”? In fact, Syria’s most famous wedding singer is still doing what he does best: driving, upbeat jams (“Ya Boul Habari”), midtempo cuts (“Chobi”), and mournful ballads (“Mawal”), all suffused with hypnotic Middle Eastern scales and the singer’s gruff, bittersweet, incomparably expressive voice.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Given the involvement of Diplo’s Mad Decent label, it’s tempting to listen for an increased focus on electronic sounds on Omar Souleyman’s To Syria, with Love: Is that a hint of a house beat bubbling beneath the whoops and synth riffs of “Khayen”? In fact, Syria’s most famous wedding singer is still doing what he does best: driving, upbeat jams (“Ya Boul Habari”), midtempo cuts (“Chobi”), and mournful ballads (“Mawal”), all suffused with hypnotic Middle Eastern scales and the singer’s gruff, bittersweet, incomparably expressive voice.

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