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 Salem Al Fakir - Ignore This

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PostSubject: Salem Al Fakir - Ignore This    Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:58 am



Listen: http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/Ignore+This/6075539

Tracklist:
"The Song I Never wrote" (0:59)
"4 O'Clock" (3:34)
"Virgin Mary" (3:29)
"Red Rock" (3:16)
"Keep On Walking" (3:16)
"This Is For" (4:12)
"Part Of It" (3:47)
"Brooklyn Sun" (3:40)
"Don't Wanna Talk About It" (1:50)
"Bloody Breakfast" (4:21)
"Split My Personality" (3:15)
"Cowboys & Dinosaurs" (2:18)
"I'm So Happy" (4:16)

About:
Swedish soul- and pop musician Salem Al Fakir released this third and latest album in 2010.
In comparison with his debut album ”This is who I am” (-07) and the follower ”Astronaut” (-09),
”Ignore This” can be considered as an experimental work of his. Going from playing all instruments
on ”This is who I am” by himself (excluding the wind instruments, and the drums on the song Dream Girl)
this album contains much more computer-made bits. It’s a new level of Salem’s soul music which hits
the spot in an interesting and capturing way.

He has composed and written all of his songs. Salem is an experienced classical violinist and multi-instrumentalist.
His characteristic soul music has given him the unofficial nickname as Sweden’s Stevie Wonder.

I guess the first time I heard of him and his musically involved brothers was in 2006
when he worked with the hip hop duo Snook as a producer.

My review:

I'm reviewing this album track by track... Here goes:

”The Song I Never Wrote” is a swirling, kinda funny mystique intro. Frames the album with the recurring melody in the end of the last track: ”I’m so Happy”.

Even going in as the first full track, ”4 o’clock” feels like one of the main characters of the album, and is also the one that’s been remixed (by Bassflow). You get to experience Salem’s light, smooth voice in an introduction of his characteristic sound. It feels a bit spiritual but at the same time, as if the spirit stand with both feet on the ground.

”Virgin Mary”: a little more synth-ish, up-tempo song, a careful introduction to the more electronic elements of the album, but still holding on to his swinging soul. The album has so far given the listener a pretty consistent start.

From hints of electronic elements in the previous song, ”Red Rock” takes it to the next level. I think it could be good with a little break from his clear voice (even though I love it) to bring more variety to the ensemble. My favourite part of this song is the adventurous melody which starts at 1.05, and gives you the feeling of a dramatic travelling through space. As heard even stronger in track #6 (”This is for”) it could also bring the thoughts to old video games.

”Keep on walking” was the runner-up in Melodifestivalen 2010. (The winner was the first not to get to the ESC final ever in Swedish history, but I wont go on about that........) He had my vote and I couldn’t listen to the song for months after the Mello final ‘cause it made me feel sickly frustrated and anxious to know it’d been so close still so far away for him to have been shown up in ESC (You don’t have to say it, I know. Ridiculously pathetic, but that’s how much I cared hah). This is the song that reminds one the most of the sound of his former albums, still a pretty suiting piece to the album and I’m glad he got it together. Probably, this album was being a work in progress before he even competed in Melodifestivalen, and was the bridge between his old known works and this more experimental album. I really like the bigness of the song, the dramatic moments when the chorus come, which it does quite often. The stick which easily sticks to your head and followed by the takeoff at 2.07 (in the studio version) has given me the chills quite a few times.

The lower tone of his voice is perfect for this song and at this point of the album. The vengeful lyrics sound even creepier and slightly psychotic coming from his otherwise innocent bright voice. This might be one of my favourite songs of the album. The fact that it has it instrumental video-game sound-ish solo toward the last minute somehow proves to me how much he wants to put the music out there, and often let it speak for itself as in his two instrumental songs (excluding the intro) ”Don’t want to talk about it” and ”Cowboys and dinosaurs”.


Back to the soft voice which makes you melt and then vibrate, forming circles of brain and heart on your surface. Together with the admonishing, slightly provoking lyrics;

Small boxes and squarish lives, ohh
I dare you to take a step outside
Get on up - get on up the train is going that way

Skewed faces and scary eyes, ohh
I dare you to take a step outside
So afraid - so afraid of opposite direction

How does it feel when you beat your wife, ohh
I dare you to take a step outside
Tell your friends - tell your friends how big your little dick is


"Part of it" also gives the feeling of a strong underdog standing up against the bad guys and says what is obvious to everyone, including the douche beating his wife.


The ballad of the album. Free from electronics. Scorched as in deep, I can see the smoke or particles of dirt and whatever you see in the strong sunray shining in like a mellow headlight in a western-ish dark brown setting. The guitarr in the hands of a grown boy with his head hanging down, to be raised into the sunlight, eyes closed in grief, half open in desperation looking at the distance outside the window between him and the one he wants back. Might remind you of the abrupt different sound as a VNV Nation’s ballad, but I think Salem has done a better preparation and understanding for his choice of going acoustic.


Don’t want to talk about it” is a needful transition from the acoustic to the electronic side of the album again. It’s not too fierce, not too long - it’s an edgy break with an attitude. I’ll respect him and not talk about it anymore.

”Bloody Breakfast” is another one of my favourites of the album. The mystique and slightly intensely creepy atmosphere (which turns into this streaming melody along with the ooh-oohh-ohh-oooh...) is interesting and capturing. I love the details, what sounds like an electric guitar, light dings and the vocally short responses as ”mh, mhm” and the whispers. He’s confronting the listener with personal questions, and I’d say he officially refers to the life of a celebrity. .... But I’d believe there’s an unofficial side of each of his songs as well....


Cut your heart out with a saber
Slice it up and put it on a plate
Serve it with the morning paper
Don't forget the cool refreshing milkshake

Pass it on around the table
Let them all have a sniff and taste
If they like it they will lable it
From 1 to 10, there's no room for mistakes

It used to bother me for sure
But it don't bother me no more

Sell your soul and tell a story
Put your private life up on display
But it better not be boring
'cause if it is they won't bother to stay

Are you the writer or the reader?
You have the answer somewhere deep inside
Are you a follower or a leader?
Make your own path and keep on living two steps behind

Oooo...

Are you a lover or an abuser?
Push people 'round to gain some for yourself
Are you a winner or a loser?
Is that a question you'll be asked in hell?

Are you a saint or a sinner?
Are you the one they will hate or adore?
And once again, are you a loser or a winner?
It used to bother me for sure, but it don't bother me no more



”Split my personality”. I think this song might be one of the most beautiful on the forum. The lyrics may many persons relate to in some way and they feel genuine, as his voice tell us, and through out the album I think one could pretty easily hear his feeling - what he wants to get out of the song - in the tone or use of his voice. The music is quite mainstream in the verses but blossoms in the wonderful chorus and it flows on nicely, the piano adds a stability.

Almost as if it was a continuation on the previous song, ”Cowboys and dinosaurs” drags you into this wonderful dream of life touched with a hint of sorrow and harsh reality. And I’d dare assure you that the song title isn’t random.

Last track. The song starts at the church and which we understand by the rest of the song it could be after a funeral. I mentioned 4 o’clock was one of the main characters of the album. This is the other one. It might be the biggest song of the album, it’s a joyful atmosphere and I can assure you that it makes your mood better even on the hardest of work day. .... And as the parade turns around the corner down the street, the swirling intro returns as an outro and closes the circle of this bittersweet album.

I might point out that I've listened to this album many, many times by now and I surely had other opinions after having heard it for the first time than I have now. I chose it 'cause you probably would've ignored it otherwise....... It deserves the attention and I love it, the bitterweetness, the details, the fact that he's thought about everything in a way. The lyrics stands out very clear thanks to his voice and every word seems thought through, I also appreciate the fact that he named the album Ignore This, and not named the album after a song title (which could've been Ignore This).
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PostSubject: My Album Review   Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:35 pm


SALEM AL FAKIR - IGNORE THIS

First album impressions: I didn't know if I liked it. It's hard (for me) to judge an album on first listen, so like I do to nearly every album I try to review, I listen to it more than once, not to brainwash or force myself into liking it or anything, but to study and understand, paying attention to the music and lyrics.

I don't know if I like Salem's voice or not. It's different and pretty mellow. I liked that I could hear what he was saying most of the time (except for track 4 (Red Rock), that seemed odd, unnatural and too electronic to me.)

The music on some tracks (like Virgin Mary or Don't Want To Talk About come to mind) initially reminds me of those old 90s arcade kinda games that have that music that runs loudly in the background over and over on a loop. It can get stuck in your head.
But I really liked how the music is upbeat sounding, yet seemingly dark and creepy at the same time. It's quite an unusual musical atmosphere and tends to make one think about what they're listening to.

Lyrically, Split My Personality is one of my favorites off of the album. Brooklyn Sun would be my favorite musically being his voice is really great on that one and the melody proved to be a pleasant break from all the electronic sounds.

Overall, I liked quite a few songs off of "Ignore This" It grew on me with each listen and it's an interesting genre of music that made it a great and fun listening experience.

(And it wasn't too long ago that I found myself listening to this album again. Simply put, it has grown on me. Smile)
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