The instrumentation includes traditional kawal, oud, qanoon and hand drums augmented with classical contrebass, cello and violin. Sabreen is fronted by the accomplished, attractive, and highly ornamented voice of Kamilya Jubran, who swoons and trills fervently on all ten songs of this 44-minute recording.
The topics include godly devotion, romantic desire and Palestinian freedom, and the writing displays great civility.
What is most notable is the crafted arranging of instruments, employed with unique restraint. The oud or qanoon do not convey perpetual (either simple or flashy) accompaniment, but instead are presented in slow, fragmented and interlocked wholes in a style that might be termed ‘Arab baroque.’
Though recorded in a private studio, the production is spacious and airy, achieved with digital delay effects on some but not all instruments & voice.
Soothing, and graceful, Ala Fein is an exceptional self-produced effort of modern, traditionally inflected Arab artistry.
– Steve Taylor (RootsWorld)