Sarah Brightman - Harem

2006-11-28 11:39

The string-driven melodrama of the opening title track sees Sarah stage a delicate introduction that mutates into a galloping cheesy house anthem, then pauses before cantering back into a heady set of gypsy string driven things. Awesome! Actually, awful is more like it. If this is some kind of attempted crossover to the hip house set, then Sarah's way off the mark.

On a truly bizarre rendition of "What a Wonderful World" she belies her diva status by sounding like a wannabe idol afraid of auditioning. Even worse, the sweeping synthesiser soaked arrangements time travel straight back to bad 80s film scores such as "St. Elmo's Fire". Such kitsch clearly needs a powerhouse like Meatloaf to carry it off. But wait, the musical freak show isn't over yet! Ever wondered what U2's rocking anthem "It's a Beautiful Day" might sound like as a Middle Eastern dervish?

Thankfully, it's not the same song, but thanks to Sarah's searing upper register opera workout Puccini's original music manages to sound unrecognisably dead and buried. Until she decides to actually articulate the chorus that is.

It's at this point that you realise that despite the conceptual shortcomings, there remains something delightfully grand about Brightman's sheer lack of...well, taste. She's a diva, okay. And divas do dazzling vocal pyrotechnics. Which means that fragile and fraught tear drop pushers such as "What You Never Know" (anyone for Enya?), "Free" (co-written with Sophie B. Hawkins) and "Arabian Nights" (very "harem" sounding here) are simply fabulous in their free flowing kitschness.

So forget about the occasional misplaced attempt at Middle Eastern "authenticity", oddly overwhelming orchestral glimpses and unfortunately sappy dance pop arrangements. On Harem you won't be able to forget that Brightman made her name on Broadway and in these many aching moods she transports the listener straight into the front row of a big budget Broadway production.

And anyway, 40-something men are guaranteed to get off on the sexy album artwork alone.

- Miles Keylock

An ambitious muddle of ethereal vocal fireworks and earnest, if awkward Middle Eastern moods.

Glen Davies 2003/07/15 11:19 AM
Harem Not to shabby! Sailing to Philidelphia.
Richard 2004/09/12 5:25 PM
I am appalled by what is written in this document! Ok, I have one word for the person who wrote this review, Philistine!! This is one of Sarah's most gorgeous albums ever and I have most of her albums!!! I dont know where the culture in this country is going but, if you had to listen to this CD a few times it would grow on you!!!! All the songs on this album are gorgeous! Anyway! Say what you may want to say, but there are alot of people who really do love this album and I will prove it!!!!!!!! Sarah is a gorgeous Singer and a gorgeous woman!! Richard Booth!!!!!! Harem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Frank 2004/09/12 7:09 PM
Ignorance abounds!!!! I see that the review written above does not carry the authors name. He/She most likely is affraid to put their name to such trash. You can tell from the review that the writer lacks any kind of vision or sense of experimentation. He/She most likely grew up slamming their head against walls and jumping up and down like a monkey to the low brow garage bands (garbage Bands) of the 80's and 90's. As for Ms. Sara Brightman her music is amazing; cutting edge; loved by all generations of people through out the world. I highly recommend "Harem" and anything she does. I would like the author of the above do even 1/1000 of the music that Sarah can do. Frank May EDEN---Sarah Brightman
Mario and the penguins 2004/09/12 7:48 PM
a funny review Hello... I must admit I have gotten quite a chuckle from the juvenile and assinine tripe written above by someone anonymous... Obviously someone has just given this cretin a thesaurus and bought him his first beer. Drunkeness in a moron is such a terrible thing... Oh, by the way, that someone even thinks other people wank off to record album covers means this person is obviously a little deranged. I suggest not tying his white restraining jacket so hard... Oh, and maybe take this person's computer away too.. I can only hope he gets carpal tunnel syndrome soon. Would go well with the brain damage... Best Miss Sarah cd ? EDEN !!!
Alex Garnica 2004/09/12 7:55 PM
Amazing Album Sarah Brightman is amazing, all her albums are a really a gift of heaven, Harem is a great new concept, Sarah Brightman always give 500% to her productions, when you saw her in concert you look the great artist that she is!!! I love harem really love harem and I think is a great great CD my favourite now!!! Course "HAREM"
gian99 2004/09/13 2:45 AM
Anyone can be a critic Althought you have a right to your opinion as mislead, confuse and ignorant as it may be, by the constitution of the USA you have proven my theory that anyone in daddy's organization can get a job, go back and review what you really know Brittney S. Christina A. or any teeny boopers out there isn't pass your bed time already?. As per Sarah Brightman not only I recommend this album but the concert as well obliously you are not old enought to appreciated Sarah's musical journey. Since you negleted to disclose your name and list your qualifications or lack there of..........I must take your opinion as I do after I am done in the toilet. Thank you. Eden, Eden DVD, La Luna and HAREM
Mia 2004/09/13 4:44 AM
An album that is not for everyone Each of us has a certain level of music appreciation. Maturity, taste and a sense of adventure play a very important role in the type of music we choose to hear. The Harem album is certainly different but well-conceptualized. That's what's great about it. Ms. Brightman dared to venture off into something different and eventually produced an emotionally-charged album. It's an album worth listening to. Classics/La Luna/Time To Say Goodbye
cascote 2004/09/13 2:22 PM
narrow minded critic your narrow mindedness and lack of taste are clearly exposed by your verbal fireworks Eden Harem
SALVADOR 2004/09/13 9:06 PM
SOMETHING DIFFERENT Well i must say this is something i was not acostumed of hearing for miss brightman since i first got a chance to hear her in the timeless era she was very much classical......but his album i s to might point of view targeted at a larger audience...i have put it to the test most of the people from work loved it ....then i must say its more popular than the others...of course there are some songs that are not all that good ......but that only depends on the person that is hearing them personally i do not like her version of what a wonderfull world but other ones i do like and very much......also i thing that the comment on the art work of the cd is very disrespectfull ...on my part i thing its best arto work that she has done to the time a she proves her own words when saying on each album she tryes to surpass the other one here she has done it the presentation of the harem album is truly supperb.....the harem desert fantasy is truly wonderfull also. to my point of view its a EDEN, LA LUNA, HAREM
Cherokee 2004/09/13 11:10 PM
"Harem" The critic who wrote this review does not know good music when he hears it. Sarah Brighman can sell out arenas worldwide whenever she comes to concert and can come up with a CD titled, "Harem" whose tracks are never air played but yet can still sell millions....well, all I could say is, she is doing something right for millions of people to love her and her beautiful voice. She is brilliant! "Harem" by Sarah Brightman.... "Eden" Sarah Brightman, "La Luna" Sarah Brightman, Cher-Farewell Tour.
anglwiz2 2004/09/14 4:30 AM
Harem This person needs to get his/head out of the sand and listen to some good music. I don't think that this person really listen to Harem at all. Eden
angry meat 2004/09/16 6:08 AM
a suitable quote I just remembered a quote from a story I once read, "... the assininity did not surprise me. After all, this was..." an internet reviewer... ```````
gro 2004/09/23 10:19 PM
harem I'd say, look at rating, ald all i's are dotted
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