Songs for Sad Women is the 18th album already by Rabih Abou-Khalil, the Beirut-born oud player. On this recording, he is joined by his steady crew of Michel Godard on serpent and Jarrod Cagwin on percussion. Extra spice is added by Gevorg Dabaghyan on duduk, the Armenian oboe. Songs for Sad Women could easily be mistaken for an early Hadouk Trio recording with its prominent use of the duduk. It has the same lyricism and haunting intenseness though it is also different. It is different in that it does not lean as much on a beat and is not as "trippy". Abou-Khalil sure can take you away from your everyday life however and carry you mentally to the ruins of post-war Lebanon with his melancholic airs. On the other hand, musical textures are far more intricately woven. Multiple layers of rhythm and melody spread over a full scale of emotion and beg for more meditative listening. All songs are intended to praise the strength of the women of Abou-Khalil's homeland that had to endure all that man will do to man in a war and still kept going on, sad but unbroken.