Saturday, July 15, 2017

Yemken, a fiasco Lennon/Ono "Imagine" arabization by Faiyrouz

Fairouz (and the Rahbani family at large) is no stranger to 1) Arabization of songs (kanou ya habibi is a Russian classic!) or 2) putting lyrics to known melodies (Ya Ana is a Mozart piece or Le Beirut is Concierto de Aranjuez). Whether with her later husband/brother-in-law (Assi and Mansour respectively), or later her son (La Walla is La Bamba) - but truth be told, these songs actually worked. I am not here to debate if royalties were paid or what not (considering that Feyrouz was performing these songs on international arenas it my hunch that yes, they were cleared either upfront or in retrospect). Which brings us to Yemken - a new effort by the grande dame on Imagine (which recently got co-writing credits by John Lennon and Yoko Ono whose name was never mentioned when the song came out) - as penned by her daughter Reema (the second track apparently from her new Bebalee album).
The result is nothing short of a fiasco. Sorry, I am someone who saw Fairouz 5 times on stage, going as far as Amsterdam to see her majestic concert at Le Carre theater, so basically I have my credentials in terms of loving her. But Yemken should have been shelved or given to much more powerful hands than the ones orchestrating this effort.
Listen to the a teaser of the song here - sorry, it's such a disappointment.