Vulture Prince (studio album) by Arooj Aftab
Arooj Aftab bestography
Vulture Prince is ranked as the best album by Arooj Aftab.
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This album has a Bayesian average rating of 72.1/100, a mean average of 71.5/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 71.5/100. The standard deviation for this album is 10.1.
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"Vulture Prince" bases it's strength on it's atmosphere. Light strings will enter and create a reflective emotional atmosphere. Arooj will then croon with long notes that move perfectly with the plucked cords. This formula works to perfection on "Baghon Main". Even before translation I could feel the deep longing coming from the music. Unfortunately, as the album moves forward it becomes more difficult to remain in this state. Around "Inayaat" I began to feel the magic lift and wondered if the album had any other tricks. To it's credit, "Last night" mixes it up with vocals in English and a reggae guitar. Sadly, These changes clash with album's established style rather than expand it. English doesn't seem to express the same feelings that came across in Urdu and the reggae guitar just seems silly in comparison to the other instruments. After this detour, "Vulture Prince" returns to it's previous standard. The closer ,"Suroor" soars to the heights of the opener. The lyric themes of corruption and longing are rich with emotion. "Vulture Prince" is serene but not strong enough to be supreme.
(Sublime set of Chamber Folk from Pakistan - I mean she is in the states ((I think)) now and has been for awhile but the sounds are a mix of Middle Eastern music and balladry with Chamber Folk and Classical - that is absolutely mesmerizing and brilliant.)
Been trying to find the words to express my feelings for this album for a few days now. After several listens I feel I am just as ill-equipped as I was when I first heard it (and fell under its spell) on the night it dropped. As a chamber folk album its quite gorgeous and sublimely tender. As a showcase for Arooj Aftab's calm and ethereal voice, it doesn't get much better - or, at least, I can't imagine much better showcase of her vocal excellence.
Vulture Prince is both something familiar to me as a fan of Chamber Folk and Ambient Pop and other forms of music that are within this set. Its also new to me as someone who has not heard much middle eastern music or arabic forms of singing. When I hear terms like "Ghazal" and "Qawwali" used to describe this music, it is very very un-communicative to me. I plan on learning much more about these forms now that I love this album so much. But within my zone of familiarity these words don't yet sit. When I hear this album I hear folk with some classical elements and a very mesmerizing and sad and forlorn vocalist weaving tales in a language I don't speak, taking me away from my time and place for a little while. It's a stirring, calming, and gorgeous experience.
The album as a whole cohesive thing is stunning, with the only track that somewhat takes me out of it being the somewhat dub and trip hop sounding english-language track right in the middle called "Last Night". "Last Night" isn't bad by any means but its my least fave of these 7 songs and it doesn't fit for me in this otherwise almost faultless album. Otherwise, songs like the opener "Baghon Main", "Diya Hai", "Inayaat", "Saans Lo" and especially the absolutely transcendent "Mohabbat" transport me to another world as I listen.
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