King of Rai Returns
Khaled, an Algerian artist and often proclaimed King of Rai music, returns with a fresh and mostly acoustic album- titled "Liberté" featuring his extraordinary voice in full splendor. Rai music dates back to the 1930s, literally meaning "opinion", blending pop and traditional Bedouin desert music with North African beats and rhythms. A resurgence of Rai in the 1980's with blunt lyrics and liberal views on partying and pleasure provoked the wrath of religious conservatives, who placed harsh consequences on those not willing to censor their music. Many left or were exiled to countries where they were allowed to express themselves and their music freely.
In "Liberté", Khaled celebrates not only music produced his own way, but also his return from exile back to Algeria. The album recorded mostly in single takes inspires the feeling of a live concert. Free of synthesized voices and other usual record industry formatting, Khaled's voice rings free and true while instruments including accordion, gumbri, flute, and Egyptian strings richly color the music.
As Khaled puts it, "This album represents not so much the return to the roots as a new found freedom to do what I want with my music while still anchoring in the deepest traditions of Rai. The themes of the songs and what I have done with the music all express the quest for liberty."
With ranging emotions from joyous celebration to haunting remembrance, Khaled reflects on his past; the struggles and triumphs which have led him to where he is today. Complete with old songs, including the title track, and new, "Liberté" is a fully accessible and enjoyable experience even for those not familiar with Rai or the Arabic language.
Quote from : http://www.spinner.com/2009/08/25/algerian-rai-king-khaled-seeks-liberte-in-a-different-desert/