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Album Review

Give Me Love : Songs of The Brokenhearted – Baghdad, 1925-29 [coll] – [Honest Jon’s]

Thurston Hunger   1/7/2009   12-inch, International

Interesting liner notes set the stage for these recordings
from the 1920’s!!! They sound excellent in terms of both
sound quality as well as in terms of wailing abandonment.
Translated lyrics include phrases like “Your love struck
me down dead before my time has come.” Passion slays,
and the sorrow borders on anger, but fueled oddly by
some kind of ecstatic joy. Several women appear on here
Badria Anwar was my leading lady, mostly as her backing
band delivers these rushing lush romantic soundtracks.
The lead off track has a bouncy upbeat vibe that differs
from much of the collection. Each side (of this double lp)
ends with an instro-meditation. Side A’s on the zorna
is superbly trippy in its otherworld, underwater vein.
The remaining three instros, “Taqsim” pieces, are all
violin with the album closer and great coda to an Anwar
number. This Iraq, is a united one with Jewish musicians
and some stellar Kurdish work, including the crazy near
yodel throb of Said El Kurdi’s “Aman Aman Zakko.” If Neung
Phak really has Phacked it in, then maybe the MonoPausers
can start redelivering these 80 year old gems. Superb,
honest-jon-ly!

-Thurston Hunger

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