Salim Nourallah: Snowing in My Heart

By: Joseph Carver

Dallas' Salim Nourallah sings, "In the dead of night/ On your darkest day/ Think of these words/ Don't be afraid." There's little doubt he's talking about the cloud that has hung over New Century America. Nourallah has found the antidote for this pain: simplicity and optimism. That is the message of Snowing in My Heart (Tapete Records/Rock Bottom), the third release from the producer-guitarist of Rhett Miller's backing band, The Instigators.

Ad nauseam, critics have sighted the influence of The Beatles in Nourallah's work but this record plays more like a melodic Wilco record than the Fab Four. The lyrics are decipherable and direct. A theme of hope runs through instrumentally layered tracks like "Don't Be Afraid, Hang On" and "It's Okay to be Sad." Where one might grow weary of the sustained lyrical message, Nourallah manages to change the scenery with the use of strings, glockenspiel, harp and kettledrum. If Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was a disjointed preview of a new century, then Snowing in My Heart is its more unified epilogue to the close the first decade of a fresh millennium.

One shouldn't worry that Nourallah limits himself to hope. He spins dark as well as anyone on "The Terror," and he's capable of digesting complexity while his responses remain beautifully simple. When times are hard, we must hope. Sadness gives way to relief and we must rejoice. Nourallah is already a well known talent in the Dallas, Texas scene, but Snowing in My Heart promises to expand his sphere of popularity considerably.

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[Published on: 12/24/07]

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