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Medina Azahara - ...En Al-Hakim CD (album) cover

...EN AL-HAKIM

Medina Azahara

 

Symphonic Prog

3.56 | 9 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars En... Al Hakim is the first "real" prog andaluz album I've bought (Carmen come not from Spain). I have to say that the album doesn't follow my expectations. But I'm happy for this.

After several listenings I have to say that the eight tracks sound in their own peculiar way. It's difficult to judge works like these. Especially if you are (like I am) too much famliar with the typical sound from the seventies.

I think the icing on the cake is the interesting duet between melancholic morish vocals of Manuel Martinez and whispering synthesizer of Pablo Rabadan, as other fellow reviewers have correctly pointed out.

The excellent opener "Otro Lugar" says it all: 1989 isn't a so bad year. In fact, while some lower moments can be immidiately recognized ("Velocidad" is the lowest point in this) with its too polished keyboards' sound, subdued drums and repetitive patterns (very good, btw), at the same time the song has something more. Call it the right ingredient, call it oxigene to make it sparkle. I don't know, exactly...maybe is this the effect of andalusian atmosphere.

Other tunes are more convincing thanks to the guest appearence of Vicente Amigo on fabulous flamenco guitar. Just listen, for example, how "La Guitarra" starts off. Great atmosphere enriched by slow tempo, inspired vocals and some harder electric guitar soloing. "El Destino" has a similar structure but is even better with the alternating of flamenco guitar and sad armonica playing by Randy Lopez: "...el destino me enga˝˛ porque so˝ando encontrÚ el verdadero amor. Un amor que se acab˛ cuando yo me despertÚ y ella se march˛...". Passion.

Very good also "Dejame Vivir" with its nice piano interplay. The closer "Desde C˛rdoba" has a more dramatic vein, even with the usual mid tempo approach. Electric guitar and synth solos until it fades out.

All in all a very good record with moments of great pleasure. A classic from Spain's second prog phase. Many colleagues at work have appreciated very much also. Thanks for the recommendation, ERIK ;) 3,75 rounded up.

Andrea Cortese | 4/5 |

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