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Album Cover Natacha Atlas - Gedida (Nation)

Destined to go down a storm with world-music wankers everywhere Gedida is actually far better than you might imagine. For once authenticity has been thrown out of the window and the result, huge strings, flickering breakbeats, rolling hip-hop and the occasional guitar lick sets Atlas's usually grating voice off a treat.

Even the rap on 'Bastet', which of all vocal styles might been seen as a minefield for someone with Atlas's range, comes off. Here and there a glimmer of Morocco or East Africa can be sighted under the electronic wheels of Gedida, a testimony to Transglobal Underground's production, which despite their last dismal album, positively shines here.

On her own its unlikely that Atlas's voice would seem half so hypnotic. For once it seems they are the compass to her Atlas. Even if Bilaadi starts out like an Arabian 'Careless Whisper'.

by Rob Lowe.