Shaï No Shaï – Human Condition

Shaï No Shaï – Human Condition

Genre: World fusion

Best tracks: Empty House (#3), This Is My Life (#4), Big Storm (#12)

Wow! This album is a stunning musical achievement — except for track #5, Human Condition, which is so inexplicably horrible that we think it was included on the album and made the title track as the result of some sort of lost wager. With that one exception, all the tunes on this album are rich tapestry of global sounds. Lead singer Olga Helm (pictured above) is from France, but sings in English, sets her songs to Middle Eastern beats and makes heavy use of Celtic instruments. We didn’t like this album on the first listen mostly because we didn’t know what to make of it. Who in their right mind, we initially asked, puts bagpipes to Arabic riffs as Shai No Shai does in Big Storm? Countless listens later we still find our appreciation growing for this, one of our all-time favorite albums. Except for track #5.

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