First Appeared at The Music Box, August 2003, Volume 10, #8
Written by John Metzger
Warning: Listening to Natacha Atlasí latest release Something Dangerous can cause a severe case of whiplash. Over the past few years, Atlas has become a bit of a superstar in North Africa and France, but Something Dangerous is her bid to take over the U.S. market. Born in Brussels, Belgium and now based in Washington, D.C., she fuses North African and Middle Eastern music with Western dance to create an eclectic extravaganza that circles the globe. The album begins with Adamís Lullaby, on which Atlasí gorgeous voice soars over a theatrical string arrangement courtesy of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. On Eye of the Duck, the very next track, Atlas takes a sharp left and lands squarely in a swirling sea of Arabic-tinged reggae and dub. Elsewhere, she delves into rap, hip-hop, and R&B, giving each an international twist that stretches from Casablanca to New Delhi. There are guests galore from Transglobal Undergroundís Tuup to electronica artist Niara Scarlett. Even Sinead OíConnor stops by to grace Simple Heart with her exquisite voice, turning it into one of the albumís true highlights. But as stunningly dextrous as Atlasí voice and her ambitions happen to be, much of Something Dangerous struggles to be more Western than is necessary. It strives to be a worldly incarnation of Mobyís Play, but instead it feels like a hodgepodge of sounds that seem forced to fit a particular market instead of reaching for it naturally.
Something Dangerous is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box