Fairouz: The Andalusiat | Review

A new Perspective full of experimentations

Fairouz has added much to the Andalusiat. In her album, Andalusiat, she gives the classical songs the humane and personal touch they previously lack. 

The Andalusiat (also known as Muwashahat) is a great body of the Andalusian lyrics. The typical song consists of two medium identical melodies and a lower one between them. 

The genre was revived in the last fifty years; musicians and song-writers add more songs to it. However, despite the innovation in the material, the artistic treatment remains the same: the focus on the glory that was and the experience that was not finished.

The composters and melodists of the album, the Brother Rahbani, change the style dramatically. In addition to adding the piano and the trumpets to the orchestra, they substitute the sand and deep scales by a light and fast-moving ones. Now, the songs become multi-faced and the focus is on the personal experience in each song. The Rahbani experiment in the choice of songs too; only three out of the seventeen songs have Andalusian lyric. The other fourteen songs belong to different periods.

The innovation is evident in the famous song ‘Jadak-al-Qaith’. It undergoes a great change that frees it from its melancholic and solemn atmosphere. But it still crowns the genre and the album. From the long poem, the Rahbani chose fourteen lines that focus on the agonies of love. They divided the lines into three quatrains and a concluding couplet and they gave the song a new scale and rhythm.

Fairouz starts the first part of the song in a medium pitch. The chorus sings the second part lowering the pitch further and Fairouz picks the low pitch to end the third part that way. The concluding couplet, which contains of the famous two lines that also begin the poem are given special treatment: The rhythm goes to the highest point, and then the chorus sings; Fairouz’s voice comes from behind, towering the chorus and the music, and putting the final note. 

Few songs still keep traits of the normal melodic and rhythmic tradition of the genre, particularly the first and the last, but the innovation is seen everywhere else. 

As always happens, the novelty has its price: some of the songs become very short. And the distortion of the classical poems will be severely censured by many. However, despite these, the album remains fresh and experimental and opening the door for a total transformation of the genre.

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