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Night Reign Image

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critic Reviews What's this?

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  • Summary: The latest full-length release from Brooklyn-based Pakistani composer/singer Arooj Aftab features contributions by such artists as Chocolate Genius, Inc., Cautious Clay, James Francies, Maeve Gilchrist, Shahzad Ismaily, Vijay Iyer, Kaki King, Moor Mother, and Joel Ross.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Jun 6, 2024
    [Aftab’s voice] is the gold thread that is woven through the aforementioned musical tapestry. Singing in Urdu and English, Aftab delivers a breathtaking performance that floats above the album as a guiding star. Further, Aftab has a keen knowledge of when to take control of the music and when to let the music speak for itself, which only adds to the ethereal atmosphere created throughout the album.
  2. May 29, 2024
    With Night Reign, Aftab makes an emotional and sonic pivot. Across nine vibrant, experimental compositions, she reclaims darkness, positioning the night as a time of mischief and enchantment.
  3. May 31, 2024
    With a wide range of collaborators — Cautious Clay, Chocolate Genius (aka Marc Anthony Thompson, Tessa’s father), pianist Vijay Iyer and longtime accompanists Petros Klampanis on bass, harpist Maeve Gilchrist and keyboardist James Francies — “Night Reign,” contrary to its title, is a brighter but no less beautiful take on Aftab’s music.
  4. May 31, 2024
    “Whiskey” comes to terms with what turns out to be an album-long treatise on love. The emotional and theoretical aspects out of the way, she assesses a flawed, drink-loving co-human and decides she can work with imperfection. The moment is captured in bright, awakening tones where dawn is first noticed by the ears. Dawn in New York, where she lives. Spectacularly, among us.
  5. May 31, 2024
    Though actual percussion remains sparse, Night Reign grooves harder than its predecessor, which featured almost no drums. Even when the rhythm instruments sit back, there’s almost always a sense of an insistent pulse.
  6. May 29, 2024
    She has worlds in her voice, as intimate and expansive as her own imagination.
  7. Mojo
    May 29, 2024
    Dizzied, delirious, conflicted, Night Reign draws in tight around you. [Jul 2024, p.91]

See all 12 Critic Reviews