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Handmade
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  • The debut from this half-Moroccan, half-French singer/songwriter is pleasant. It has its moments that glisten, but for the most part it passes by without making a great impression. "Kiss & Thrills," which revolves around a very simple, bluesy riff, works superbly, almost hypnotic, as if someone had dropped Ali Farka Tour? into North Africa alongside a female singer. The lush layered vocals of the closer, "Old Friends," set up a deliciously dreamy atmosphere, while "Stand Up" seems to mix chanson with touches of modernity to good effect and a surprising Arabic interlude. Unfortunately, the remaining eight tracks have little to make them stand out, being mostly French blandness (although largely sung in English). Zahra has talent, and a nice kittenish voice, but it all needs more development and editing. ~ Chris Nickson
Professional Reviews
Mojo (Publisher) (p.103) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[W]orth the wait....[It] feels like a conscious attempt to avoid categorisation..."

Uncut (magazine) (p.111) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Elements of her Berber heritage dramatically fleck the spiky desert-blues of 'Kiss&Thrills'."
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