I wonder if "it sounds sort of like Arabic pop" might not be the "tastes like chicken" of international popular music. That said, there's more to this CD than twisty Casio-inflected maqams and husky, soulful-sincere crooning. I love how one minute, it feels like you're seemingly picking up Lebanon, the next it's Algeria, the next it's The Country Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned in This Post. Oh, and disco.
Found in the stacks of what I believe is the largest Russian music, movie and book emporium in the New York City area, St. Petersburg on Brighton Beach Avenue in Brooklyn. I love the clerks at that place. They're all young Russian girls, blond (real or bottled), and extremely bitchy, almost as though this might be an S&M supply warehouse.
When I brought this up to the counter, the young woman who rang it up said something to me in Russian, and when I said, in English, "Oh, um ..." she hissed through her teeth, chucked the CD into a yellow plastic bag, and dropped it on the counter before staring just inches above my head and saying, almost robotically, "Ten Dohlahrz."
I happily fished the appropiate bill from my wallet as she slowly seethed behind the counter, making each second seem like hours.
"Here," I offered.
She rolled her eyes, snapping the bill from my fingers.
"Thanks," I said.
"Who eez nezhxt?" she asked ... though, as I turned and walked out of the store, there was no one waiting in line behind me.
Do you like music videos with women in gold dresses and rather large men with soulful singing voices? Check this out: