Living Islam Today
A Magazine for Muslim Americans
Vol. 1 Issue 1               Spring 1420/ 2000

Music Reviews

IFNA

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate Source of All Mercy

Ahmed Tijani & Friends: Praise

From IBTS

          There are very few CD's that you can hear without having to skip tracks.  There are eight tracks, but you only like three of them.  It's a dilemma that each of us faces.  Luckily, with the latest CD, we don't have to worry about this problem.  Almost all of the tacks are top notch.
          Praise is a CD that seems to cut right to the chase.  You don't have to wait for the good stuff to come up.  It's all there from the moment the first song drifts out of your speakers.  From the crystal clear guitar to the soft drumming, the songs have a feel as if you've heard them all of your life.                          
          Many people see colors when they hear music.  The slow arpeggio of a guitar may make one think of icy rain drops as they fall from the sky.  For some reason, I think of summer every time I listen to Praise.  There is something warm and inviting about the way the songs reach out to you.
          The songs themselves have a mixture of English, Arabic and Swahili.  The texture of the varied lyrics add to the sense of warmth that the songs seem to exude.  This quality is highlighted in Br. Tijani's voice itself.  He is able to bring a soulful-ness that is rarely heard in Islamic recordings.  You can actually feel what he is singing.  The only disappointment for me was the short time that was given to the sister who joined Br. Tijani in the first track.  Her voice is superb.  Maybe next time she'll do song all on her own.  
          If you're like me, when you hear a track that you really enjoy, you hope that it continues to play for a long time.  Luckily, most of the tracks here are over 6 minutes long.  You are able to experience the nuances of the song's dynamics.  Unfortunately,  this back fires on the last song.  
          "Ya Allah", I'm sorry to say, overstays its welcome in my CD player.  I know...I know.  The message is great (Allah's names), but at a whopping 10:49 minutes, the song becomes redundant.  While the production is still top notch, the structure of the song itself leaves one wanting more.  It doesn't seem to hold its own against the other tracks which move the listener upward in a pleasant spiral towards a wonderful climax.
          Thank goodness we have that little skip feature on our CD player, and thank goodness you won't have to use it with Praise, that much.  This CD (or cassette) is something you want want to miss hearing.
          Born in Ghana, Br. Ahmed Tijani has established himself as an inspirational speaker and great musician.  
          
       While in Vermont, Br. Tijani gathered together with some of him friends at the Threshold Society's mountain retreat and recorded these spiritual chants based in African and Middle Eastern drumming.

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