I'm going to start, by talking about the CD/DVD packaging. Well, the digipack carton is really nice, but will not take a lot of wear. The ink on the digipack will end up dying your fingers, if it gets wet. Be careful!
There are beautiful pictures inside, and we're treated to so many more pics in Harem compared to any of her other CDs. I'm really happy! Thank you Sarah!
The surface of the CD and DVDs are painted with palm trees and a silver "Harem" at the bottom of each. You can't really tell which is the DVD and which is the CD, but that doesn't matter to me.
Alrighty now...Here is my review of Harem, song by song:
Harem:.......A gorgeous marriage of Instrumental suspense, mixed with moving electronic techno-dance beats makes this an excellent opening track. I love the suspenseful, dramatic crescendo from the slow, rythmic percussion, to the gradually rising melody, and then turning into a bouncing, looped keyboard riff, which then shifts into high gear with a sensuous, electronic dance beat. I love it!
What a wonderful world:.....Sarah has revisited a Classic song (originally by the great Sachimo "Louis Armstrong"). Sarah has re-invented this classic, giving it a pixie-esque finish. The song is unique, and has a lovely melody which only Sarah and Frank can come up with. Lovely!
It's a beautiful day:........Pure Euphoria! I love it as much as I love the original "Madame Butterfly or (Un Bel Di vedremo). What a gorgeous soaring mix of Classical with a slower electronic beat. This song can easily fit into the Fly CD material, because it's got that heavenly, off the ground vocal effect on me. This is the only song in which Sarah puts any operatic voice into. Kind of says "thank you", for all the fans who loved her classical music of the recent past.
What you never know:.......Lovely! Beautiful accoustic guitar solo, which makes me feel sentimental. And Sarah's ageless "Kate Bush-esque" soprano voice gives it a touch like no other song. This is probably one of Sarah's best love songs yet!
The Journey Home:.....Another dramatic melody builder! It starts out really slow, and percussion sets in. The background vocals are to die for, and the violins and orchestrations just glide smoothly.
Then what I love, is Sarah's smooth, crystalline Soprano voice arrives with the first lines of the song. It builds up to another fine electronic dance beat, which soars through the sky like an eagle. I get goose bumps every time this song plays. Ofra Haza's voice is so lovely on it!
Free: Sad but beautiful......Sarah sings about wanting to be free, and to move on. This one is another sweet melody, where Sarah's voice opens up into one emotional bliss. How pretty!
Mysterious Days:.......Is mysterious, melodical and really pretty. I think it's one of the most "rock-sounding" of all the songs on the CD. This one could really work as a single. I absolutely love the chorus line.
The war is over now:.......Very pretty, simple and catchy. Duets aren't my thing, but this one is an exception. Sarah's light, airy voice, and Kadim Al Sahir's voice is brilliant. They go really great together, and I think this proves that they should duet a lot more together in the future. I can't get over the chorus line in this song too, because it's so easy to sing to, and even though it's a bit repetitious, the song has a pleasing melody.
Miserere Mei:.......Lovely! Simply Put!
Beautiful:.......Simple and melodic. Fits in so well with the theme. Makes me think I'm travelling into the desert, and learning a lot about life and beauty of things.
Arabian Nights:.......What a lovely little medley of Arabic songs. It's so pretty that Sarah sings in Hindi. I Love it! Sarah's voice is such an instrument. She can pull her voice in, or bring it out like a slap in the face. I like the versatility of this piece.
Stranger in Paradise:........It's just plain OK. Nothing too new, nothing too startling. I've already heard a lot of versions of this piece, and I prefer Sarah's. The original comes from composer Alexander Borodin.
Until the end of time:........what else can I say, but this is my 4th favourite on Harem. I love everything about this tear-jerking song. It's something that should be found on any passionately-written CD. Sarah has found my heart when i listen to this track.
Tout ce que je sais (french version of "what you never know):
Same feelings about it as I have for the english version.
Gueri de toi (french version of Free): Same feelings I have about the english version.
Now, the DVD!!!
I played the DVD, and I simply love everything about it. The video to Harem is amazing. There are 2 versions of it, and one you get to see the orchestra playing. Sarah looks so beautiful in her video, and she looks so happy. I'm glad she looks so happy, because that's how she makes a lot of her fans feel.
The Photo Gallery is amazing too, for the pictures are so rich in color, and they float across the screen horizontally, one by one.
I like the way they go deep into the making of the video for Harem. It's fun the way Sarah makes a funny fool out of herself, fooling around in the studio, on playback. It makes me laugh!
I went to see Sarah live today (May 28th, 2003), at the signing for Harem. She is such a wonderful person to meet in person. You'll never meet a sweeter lady than her.
After the signing, I went to see her in a live taping of an interview for Harem. She was such an angel, and that made me feel so much closer to her music and to her, period.
Well, that's it for my review!
Hope it helps you!!!