Sam Shalabi Osama (Alien8) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Osama is meant to be a protest album dealing with arabophobia in a post 9/11 world. The title, Osama, is more than just a reference to bin Laden; it's also Shalabi's given name. Instead of coming up with a clear political position and imposing it on the listener, he gives us a deeply personal and more than a little schizophrenic vision. Veering from hard rock to free improvisation to found sound collage to spoken word, Osama retains its anger and frustration without succumbing to simplistic sloganeering. The sound captures the overwhelming feeling of millions of angry voices babbling, excusing and explaining their fear via CNN clichés.