Years have past since Shahryar started his artistic career in Sweden and unfortunately, due to his label Chehrehnama’s rather irregular and narrow distribution in Europe, I received his debut album ”Aaghaze Shirin” a whole year after its official release! Which means just recently! His new album, however, reached me in time and is entitled ”Parse”. This is a CD/DVD-COMBO (9 audio-tracks + 6 music-videos) with material by artists such as Jaklin, Shahyar Ghanbari, O. Hashemi, Iraj, Bijan Saeedi, R. Mahjoub, M. Moradi, Hassan Shamaizadeh and Roma Kanyan.
The album opens in a more acoustic manner, courtesy of the ”Guitare Sorkh” which comes along to accompany Shahryar in a rather rhythmic Andalusian/Persian POP serenade. One of the most catchy and clean productions on the album, if not THE HIT of this particular collection! A strong and memorable opening indeed.
Now to the musically most experimental and in its noble attempt also successful piece on the album! Basically a melange -not collage!- but a perfectly blended MELANGE of catapulting TECHNO BEATS and Persian POWER-/PROG. POP styles! A never before heard hybrid actually! At least on a professional level, since many talented but amateur artists are currently experimenting with different genres and from time to time honour yours-truly by sending their pieces to me for both evaluation and enjoyment (Thanx Guys)! Nonetheless, Shahryar’s ”Setaayesh is truly ”ghaable setaayesh”! My personal favourite from the album!
The title-track ”Parse” begins with a very familiar piano solo (I know that the minute after I’ve published the review I’ll realise what song it is!!*LOL* But since I never alter a published review, you will not find out until the next review on the same artist) and evolves into a very smooth and mellow LOVE-BALLAD! This one has got all the ingredients that a successful love-song (ballad in particular!) should possess. Anatomically correct and well-manoeuvred in a well-set ambience.
To continue on the previous song’s mellow and romantic mood comes a melancholic-POP song entitled ”Hichki Mesle To Nabood”! This original version is more ”unplugged” and naked, and also much better and more interesting than the REMIX to follow! As ballads often tend to be than their CLUB REMIXES. This song is strongly inspired by Siavash Ghomayshi’s good old ”Dozdaki”! Using Ghomayshi creations is nothing new to Shahryar, in his debut album he controversially covered his ”Gharibe” without a credit to the original artist!
The ”Baroon” starts to fall and wash away the particles of melancholia that the two previous songs left behind in the air, with a rhythmic and uplifting acoustic-guitar-centred LATINO-/Persian POP tune! A perfectly crafted song.
Next comes ”Mahaal Nist”, a rhythmic mainstream POP-tune with the sound of the 80’s. Rather OLD-SCHOOL in production too, Cheshmazar-ian actually, except for a couple of modern ”sizzling” sound elements in the background. Clean cut but not bold and catchy enough for a mainstream HIT!
After a rather uplifting delivery, its time for a MUCH more DRAMATIC piece! ”Javoone” is a typical generic ballad, Dariush-esque but with a very FRESH arrangement! The marriage of the melodies from the classic instruments with the modern electronic sounds are perfectly done. Not really formulaic but still pretty generic.
If you remember the remake of the late Foroughi’s ”Niaaz” last year by Shahryar then you know what ”Baaghe Khiaal” is all about! A casual VOCAL (Euro-)TRANCE song with a rather uneven anatomical structure! But while ”Niaaz” was a rather failed attempt in its way to UPDATE and UPGRADE the old HIT (due to its negligence in preserving the original spirit of the song while restoring it), ”Baaghe Khiaal” does a better job in coming across as a vocally/musically consistent package!
The same sound re-saddles now into a hyper Euro-NRG version of the album’s ”Hichki Mesle To Nabood”! Pounding beat and the PROGRESSIVE EURO’s melodic jargon spiced with a pinch of POWER-ROCK elements! A nice track but as I mentioned earlier usually CLUB REMIX versions of ballads tend to turn out less engaging and artistically interesting than original DANCE songs! This REMIX is NOT an exception! It takes a very talented artist with a keen ear and sense for changes in details to actually pull off such a task! An artist like Hex Hector.
The DVD features 6 music videos from Shahryar’s current- and previous album! All in good A/V-quality:
Musically is this album a genuine GEM! Especially thanks to its cutting-edge arrangements courtesy of Roma Kanyan! Last time the Iranian market experienced this arranger’s touch of class was on IDIN’s debut album! Seldom is experimental sound delivered with such a high standard and class as in these two albums! Although having the music as its strongest feature, in ”Parse” is even Shahryar’s ornamentation less contrived than the previous album and more interacted with the music than ”Aghaaze Shirin”, in which the music and the vocals went more or less two separate paths and even pace to the same destination! ”Parse” is a strong second album from a still growing artist and is strongly recommended to the fans of well-produced and experimental sound with some FRESH details to detect and devour!
Artistic Performance: ++
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