Album Review: Nine Heavens by Niyaz

Album Name: Nine Heavens
Artist: Niyaz
Year/Label: 2008 / Six Degrees

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Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

I first heard Niyaz a few years ago when reading a friend’s blog. She mentioned that she was listening to them and since I have always appreciated her taste in music, I checked them out.

While I do like a variety of music the genre that I think of as “world” is not one of the ones I listen to the most. So, much of it sounds similar to me (just as people who don’t listen to much pop music think that any woman who plays piano sounds like Tori Amos.)

So it’s so shock that this record sounds very much like Niyaz’s previous release to my ears. But that’s not to say it’s not lovely. It is, it’s enchanting, in fact.

What I enjoy about this band is that I can listen to them as background music at work, or I can crank it up and just close my eyes and daydream, soaking it all in.

Azam Ali’s voice is an amazing instrument. She does things with it that I’ve never heard anyone else do and it’s fascinating.

What is different about this release is that it’s a double disc set. The first disc is pretty straightforward, but the second is the same songs from the first, but in an acoustic format. You might think this would not work, but you’d be wrong. These songs are equally as gorgeous without all the bells and whistles. Well, there still are a lot of these things involved. The sound is just a tad more sparse.

So if you are not familiar with the music of Niyaz, but you like ambient, atmospheric music with a sort of Middle Eastern/Indian twist, you owe it to yourself to pick this up. If you are already a fan, you’ll love it I’m sure.

Track Listing
Disc: 1
1. Beni Beni
2. Tamana
3. Feraghi: Song of Exile
4. Ishq: Love and the Veil
5. Allah Mazare
6. Iman
7. Molk-E-Divan
8. Hejran
9. Sadrang
Disc: 2
1. Allah Mazare [Acoustic]
2. Beni Beni [Acoustic]
3. Sadrang [Acoustic]
4. Tamana [Acoustic]
5. Feraghi: Song of Exile [Acoustic]
6. Hejran [Acoustic]
7. Ishq: Love and the Veil [Acoustic]
8. Molk-E-Divan [Acoustic]

[Niyaz Official Site]

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