Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Different Kind of Buzz

Don't let the wild-eyed look fool you - what we have here is a gentle soul and a very catchy version of a tune that can seem a tad ubiquitous...

The musician, who is not at all unfetching in an idiosyncratic sort of way, is one Alaa Wardi, who is apparently of Iranian descent, educated in Jordan, and living in Saudi Arabia, where he has become the Kingdom's "King of YouTube."  I can see why.

As for the song, I would have thought it impossible to top the magisterial cover done by the ensemble known as Postmodern Jukebox in tandem with enigmatic vocal phenom Puddles, but I think Alaa very nearly manages it.  Such varied brilliance applied to this one song almost makes me feel badly for its originator, who is apparently a sort of sexy, Kiwi contemporary version of Janis Ian - a teen prodigy writing songs that seem well beyond her possible range of experience.  Well, Ian had Roberta Flack turning "Jesse" an anthem of despair,and now Lorde has both a seven-foot-tall clown and an a cappella-mad Persian turning her little musing on teen angst and pop culture into very different, equally compelling, very grown-up number.

I'm really very taken with Mr. Wardi, and I heartily encourage you to go have a look at some of his other creations.  Speaking of ubiquitous, he actually finds a way to do a clever and inventive cover of Pharrell's "Happy", and I'm not sure you've really heard "Comfortably Numb" until you've heard it in Arabic.


  1. The arabic version of "White Rabbit" (per American Hustle), is pretty cool as well!

  2. "Ubiquitous" it may be somewhere, but I have no idea what the song is that he is interpreting. However, it is very cleverly done... Jx