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Habibi

Habibi

(Burger; US: 28 Jan 2014; UK: 24 Feb 2014)

Brooklyn Quartet Mines a Well-Worn Girl-Group Vein

Habibi is a four-piece pop band out of Brooklyn, fronted by Iranian-American Rahill Jamalifard, with capable if unspectacular backup in the form of a drum/bass/guitar trio. Comparisons to groups like the Vivian Girls are probably inevitable; Habibi offer short, simple tunes, rudimentary guitar lines and sweet harmonies, confections that go down easy and require little effort on the part of the listener. At their best, tunes like “Far From Right” and “Siin” offer up a jaunty summertime soundtrack, while “Persepolis” brings a slightly more introspective vibe to the proceedings. Despite Jamalifard’s declarations that she mines her Persian heritage for material, this is girl-group pop music to the core. Nothing wrong with that, just don’t go in expecting more.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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