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Heaven (audio CD) Khaleel Muhammad
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Publisher: Meem Music (2004)
Voice: Khaleel Muhammad
Media: Audio CD (1)
Total running time: 34 mins.
Best known in Muslim circles for his innovative audio play 'The Adventures of Hakim' and providing the backing vocals to songs by Yusuf Islam and Zain Bhikha, Khaleel has finally decided (or, rather, been pushed) to step out from 'backstage' and into the limelight. A designer, voice-over artist, as well as prolific writer and producer (not to mention, all round good guy), Khaleel - whose production credits also include 'A Simple Guide to Prayer' and the audio story 'Salah ad-Din: Champion of the Crusades’ - now presents his debut solo album featuring his own material.
Entitled 'Heaven', this album pushes back the creative envelope and is his distinctive contribution to the growing English nasheed genre. Taking traditional sounds, themes and sentiments, Khaleel adds his own rich harmonies and contemporary style nurtured through years of listening to mainstream western artists and blends them into well crafted, wonderful, memorable nasheeds. And all this using voice and percussion only! (Though you'd be forgiven for thinking there's other instruments on there too.)
The album begins with the sounds of the jungle and Africa as Khaleel introduces us to 'Bilal - son of Africa' and the story of the companion Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) and his distinctive contribution of the Adhan or Call to Prayer. And its finale is the title track 'Heaven' which encapsulates one believer's hopes and prayers. All in all a truly remarkable album that has something for everyone and is bound to be a best seller.