Album Title: Mirame
Performer: Eleftheria Arvanitaki
Label: Universal 0602521 7909304
Running time
: 56'19"

Eleftheria Arvanitaki is a popular and successful Greek songstress whose Mirame is but the latest of 21 albums under her own name - which doesn't include collaborations elsewhere. With every one of her records gone Platinum since she went beyond her 80's Opisthodromiki Compania rembetika (but to which she can seamlessly return), she's huge in Greece but perhaps only little known abroad. She has performed with Dulce Pontes, Sheikh Lo, Cesaria Evora and Amaral and on Mirame, invited the Spanish Buika to perform the title song with her.

Naturally lost on non-Greek speakers unless they refer to the liner-note translations will be the mature lyricism that's become an Arvanitaki
trademark. Foreigners might associate Greek music with Zorba-esque bouzoukis and folksy dances but that's far from representative. Even Cyprus flooded by low tourist expectations had evidence to the contrary. While there is one bouzouki on Mirame -- it's played by Manolis Karadinies -- we've also got flamenco guitars compliments of the hard-working Javier Limon. There are Cuban and Spanish percussionists, Spanish piano and keyboards, trumpet, harmonica, guitars and sax to return us squarely to a contemporary multi-kulti format. "Den Milo Gia Mia Nychta Ego" in fact goes clearly Latin with the obligatory syncopated brass section and rollicking piano. That's because Mirame was produced by Javier Limon to become a kind of Spanish/Greek collaboration while staying completely clear of Flamenco.

It's most fitting to approach Mirame as world music pop that just so happens to be sung in Greek. E-guitars are nearly completely absent and generic percussion is often augmented or even replaced by ethnic arrays. Not for devout traditionalists, Mirame isn't on the level of Eleftheria's master piece Ta Kormia Ke Ta Maheria/The Bodies And The Knives but plenty attractive to recommend itself, with a few tracks outright memorable...