Kasem is a charismatic superstar of international fame who has sold over 30 million albums, and whose beautiful, agile voice has made him one of the premier interpreters of Middle Eastern music. Using a traditional orchestra, rather than the synthesizers many use today, he sings in a classical style that was more prevalent a few years ago, and his songs are rhythmic, moderately up-tempo pieces, many of them which he has composed himself.
The musicianship is top notch, and I especially like the arrangements that feature the zither. All the tracks are good; track # 3, "La Titnahad", has a catchy refrain that will keep you humming long after playing the CD, and is repeated as a re-mix on track # 12. Being an enhanced CD, it includes a video of this song, which is about a store mannequin who comes to life when a certain pretty girl looks at him, and one can see that Kasem is not only wonderful to listen to, but very attractive as well.
Born 41 years ago in Iraq, Kasem was a child prodigy and received extensive musical training, specializing in the oud, and was writing poetry at an early age; he is one of the most critically acclaimed artists of this musical genre, and this CD is a fine addition to any world music collection. It comes in a sturdy fold-out cardboard case with the meaning of the lyrics translated into English. The sound is excellent, and the total time is 62'53.