Ragheb Alama is one of the most popular musicians in the Middle East. Born in Lebanon, he's been a presence on the pop charts since the late 1980s.

Ragheb Alama is one of the most popular musicians in the Middle East. Born in Lebanon, he's been a presence on the pop charts since the late 1980s. He isn't a raï singer. Rather, his music has a groove most Westerners would identify as rock/pop, though Alama's sound is strongly influenced by the polyrhythmic soul of the Maghreb. Westerners will also recognize the slick production techniques that underpin the tracks on Tab Leh. There isn't anything rustic or unsophisticated about the work that went into creating this record. Electronica and traditional North African instrumentation meet in a very ear-catching fashion here. Special tracks include the sizzling buzz of "Sed El Ghalyeen," the lilting strains of "Ahebik," and "Laialena El Kadema," a dance hit in waiting. Distributed by Ark21.—PVV

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