Toofun - ”Tango”
I was basically brought up with the voice of Toofun and the music of the Toofun/Cheshmazar band, thanks to my dear ”dayi” who was my earliest source of inspiration and also the biggest source of information when it came to the entertainment scenes of the 70’s. But I have lately met many younger music fans who accuse Toofun of plagiarising Andy & Kouros’ ”Khodaaye Aasemoonha” while not being aware that it was in fact Toofun who once created and performed the timeless HIT almost 30 years ago! An artist who was an Iranian equivalent to THE TONIGHT SHOW’s Kevin Eubanks on Parviz Gharibafashar’s groundbreaking television show back in the golden decade. Toofun’s singing career, however, has mostly been plagued by either bad timing or bad luck ever since! The revolution occurred when his solo career was about to take off and his comeback wasn’t before when it was a bit too late and the LA-industry was more accommodating towards the new acts rather than the re-aspiring veterans. The 90’s was a hotbed for newcomers but also a cruel rejection for most veterans who had missed the comeback train that left the station already back in the 80’s! Toofun has released 6 albums (incl. the one released on tape in England, where he was more or less active before his arrival to US in early 90’s) in exile and his latest album ”Tango” is composed and arranged by the artist himself with lyrics by Farrah Tajali, Homa Mirafshar and Parsa. Except for a few cases where no composer/lyricist has been declared on the list of credits but the nationality! ”Tango” album features 8 tracks and is released on Chehrehnama.
The album opens with the title-track. ”Tango” is unlike its title and theme not a tune for a Tango! Well the term TANGO has just like the term JAZZ been misunderstood and misused in our POP-culture ever since it was imported, so its probably just a slow-dance Toofun is inviting you to and not the passionate Argentinean dance per definition! A mellow CLASSIC POP song with typical 70’s BALLROOM sound.
Next comes ”Telephone”, a PERSIAN TECHNO fare with similarities to Nima’s ”Maryame Paeezi”! The style is obsolete and the composition too template-like, but still one of the more HIT-potent tracks on the album.
”To Begoo Dele Man” is a song based on an Indian original which is not accounted for! The performance itself however is more Turko-ARABESQUE than Indian!
And now ”Man Takam Allah”, a Turkish POP/Schlager song based on Turkish (Azeri?) lyrics, another piece that has not been accounted for!!
It seems like the use of such material just wont stop! Time for another originally Indian tune performed by Toofun as ”To Biaa Yaadam Bede”. The second track with some HIT-potentiality!
”Aasheghetam Dobaare” is a BALLROOM POP/50’s ROCK song with a FEEL GOOD vibe a la 70’s. STRONGLY reminiscent of Nellie’s ”Dooset Daaram”, a song which ”might” have been composed by Toofun considering these two artists’ collaboration in the past!
A BANDARI song with a MAINSTREAM approach. ”Ajab Haaliye Emshab” is made for DJs’ PARTY MIXES!
Last comes ”Yashar”, perhaps the most INNOVATIVE arrangement and performance on the album! An instrumental PROGRESSIVE ETHNO (Azeri)/Electro-ROCK fare that just screams to be preformed LIVE!! NRGetic and FRESH! THE creative feature of the album that SHOULD be further explored and experimented with!!! In other words this might very well be the style and sound that Toofun needs to be once again put on the STAR-MAP! Why not remaking the old Toofan/Cheshmazar songs as these were never released as a collection, before others abuse them! Exactly the way he remade a song of his, originally created for Nellie as ”Yek Khaatere” 10 years ago!
As I mentioned earlier, Toofun has never received the recognition he deserves, partly due to bad luck but also because of his own questionable decisions! By keeping a low profile and hopping from one label on the verge to bankruptcy to another on the ledge, his albums often gets lost in either bad marketing or bad distribution! And ”Tango” is unfortunately no exception! At the same time his music has begun to suffer from incoherency and inconsistency! The arrangements are pretty decent and contemporary but the styles are in dire need for an UPDATE accordingly! I personally consider Toofun as someone with the potential to become an Iranian SANTANA and I hurt when his talents are to such extent unappreciated and abused by others and mismanaged by himself!
Artistic Performance: ++
Artistic Ambition: +
Commercial Potential: -
Technical Quality: ++
Aesthetic Presentation: -
Ethical Adherence: --
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