Natacha Atlas The Best of Natacha Atlas

Former Transglobal Underground legend Natacha Atlas’ greatest hits compilation is absolutely magical. Atlas seizes her Middle-Eastern/Belgian/North African ancestry to create labyrinthine music of no particular genre. The woman who once referred to herself as the "human Gaza Strip” makes everything from Moroccan folk, hip-hop, drum & bass and Egyptian pop entirely her own. Atlas doesn’t so much sing…she seduces. Her passion-drenched voice twirls and twists around like incense smoke next to lush Arabic strings, violins, tablas, keyboards, saxophones and ancient lutes. Many tracks have been remixed or edited for 2005 including the dub-scratched, drum-looped beat of "Leysh Nat’arak” and the globe-trotting disco anthem "Amulet.” The album also features her alluring version of the Francois Hardy classic "Mon Amie La Rose” that won her the French equivalent of a Grammy. Just when you think you are getting used to the supremely confident Atlas alchemy of old and new, along comes "You Only Live Twice,” a typical romantic ballad from the James Bond movie; this artist is full of surprises. With Natacha, you could belly dance at a nightclub, or mix your ecstasy with opium — it all somehow works beautifully. (Mantra)