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Natacha Atlas | Something Dangerous | review | belly dancing | rock | Lollipop

Natacha Atlas

Something Dangerous (Mantra)
by Jamie Kiffel

What Barbra Streisand's stage act is to real society women, Natacha Atlas' latest album is to traditional belly dancing music. She's more schmaltzy, more synthetic, and more interested in belting out American standards. I'm not sure whether to shimmy or plotz when I hear her Belgian-Moroccan voice warbling all over "A Man's World" (that is, "A Man's Wooh-ooh-ooooorld"). Her gimmick is that snaky, classic Arabic all-over-the-scales exotic yodel, and she uses it in the unlikeliest of places. If you've never heard traditional Middle Eastern music, then this hybrid of English dance club mixes and Arabic wedding music will raise your pulse. If you always fantasized about hearing Whitney Houston sing those five octaves Arabian-style, you'll probably also like this very much. Atlas sounds sexy. The songs range from ridiculous to hot. But if you want to hear those snake charmer-seductive winding reeds straight out of the Sahara, or thick, jingling gold finger cymbals rising from the back of a hookah-smoky Turkish club, this is not the stuff. This is bellydance music for Prada stores: Middle Eastern chic for the Eurotrash set.

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