Writing about any work by Fairouz is not easy. Most Arabs grew up with the diva's voice and were brought up to love and respect her, so it is not easy to put one's emotions aside, and write an unbiased review.
It is fairly safe to say that Fairouz's musical experience with Ziad Rahbani peaks in Eh Fi Amal, after many controversial albums by the two — not that the new album will keep the ever-so-mischievous Rahbani away from controversy.
However, here he keeps Fairouz in a more familiar zone and doesn't take her to extremes as he did in Mish Kayen Hayk Tkoun, which was criticised by many simply because they couldn't believe Fairouz was singing about lemon, cumin, olives and a noisy truck.
Many of the new songs — already performed in Dubai and at the Beiteddine Festival in Lebanon — were received well by the audience. Fans were eagerly waiting to hear numbers such as Ma Chawart Hali, which they had loved in concerts.
Starting with Al Ayel, most of the album's songs, all written and composed by Rahbani, are a challenge to the 75-year-old singer's vocal chords, as the slow rhythm of these songs can be very unforgiving. But it was reassuring to hear Fairouz's perfect voice and pronunciation, and to know that she can still pull it off.
Rahbani also pays tribute to his father and uncle, Asi and Mansour, by changing the lyrics of an old song the two composed many years ago, titled Biktom Asamihon, to include their names.