Wael Kfoury keeps it concise in his new album W. The nine-track offering that clocks in at just over 35 minutes may make some fans feel short-changed but the leanness of this album means listeners are getting only the best.
None of the tracks here deviate from the 42-year-old Lebanese silver fox’s winning balladry we are used to, and instead further refines his skills as an emotive vocalist.
The hook of opener Waet Lbensaki lies in the strings, with Kfoury moving from sleepy bass croon to plaintive cry in the chorus.
Sornoh Soloh has more of a folk flavour thanks to the atmospheric ney and oud, while the summery Glotti Bittouwit is a carefree mix of Arabic pop with a Latin back beat. Tariq El Falli is a highlight; the tale of a love interest who did Kfoury wrong and in which his vocals ascend effortlessly over an upbeat production until he delivers the big kiss-off.
The question is, is the pain described in these songs genuine? Who cares when it sounds this smooth.