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Habib & Mohamad - “Khodeshe”

Avang Music Co.
2006 (1385)

The father and son are back! After the success of their joint effort “Javuni” last year comes “Khodeshe”. Even this album is a COMBO package with 15 audio-tracks and 5 music-videos, released as its predecessor on Avang Music Co.. For the material on the album stand, beside Habib himself, Davud Badrkhani, Andy G., Erwin Khachikian, Alex Abedi, Mina Jalali, Mahin Abadani, Feraydoon Eskandar, Sandro Rebel, Allen Ohanian and Saeed Ghayemaghami.

“Khodeshe” starts off with an NRG-POP fare with a PROGRESSIVE ARABESQUE overtone. The father-son duet “Baroon” is an excellent opener and the first released song from the album.

Another PROGRESSIVE ARABESQUE fare on the menu, this one with a Turkish flavour! Mohamad delivers a song with a very familiar melody to its verse!

Followed up by “Eshaare”, an NRG-POP fare signed Erwin Khachikian. You will recognise the ambient set-up from Erwin’s previous works for Siavash Ghomayshi! Simply beautiful!

“Lahze” is an up-beat POP tune, even this one with PROGRESSIVE ARABESQUE influences! The back up vocals are weakly applied at the chorus and contributes to a flattening of the otherwise energetic track!

Lets take things back to the early/mid 80’s and the dramatising Electro-ROCK sound of HOLLYWOOD! “Hegh Hegh” is another great track with a NOSTALGIC vibe delivered by the father!

The title-track “Khodeshe” is a rhythmic and uplifting ETHNO-DANCE song. A melange of ethnic ingredients garnished with a FEEL-GOOD vibe!

“Maaro Baash” is a nicely flowing and throbbing Electro-NRG fare with the sizzling EURO flavour that I love! …delicious!!

Half way through the album things start to take a different turn! Mohamad who has so far managed to deliver the vocals satisfactory suddenly loses energy and jolt in his performance! “Shirin & Farhad”, otherwise one of the BEST songs on the album with its PROGRESSIVE arrangement and commercial flow, is almost wasted courtesy of the vocal ANTICLIMAX!

Even though we already know -based on themes and interviews- that Habib and his family are people of faith we cant help but to raise an eyebrow when we read titles such as “Namaaz & Rooze”!! But let me tell you that unlike what you might assume about this song, its an up-beat Electro-NRG fare with striking EURO-TRANCE influences that have no link whatsoever with religious traditions other than its title! Simply gorgeous!!

Older readers might recognise the inspired SYNTH riffs in the beginning of “Ghesseye Eshgh”!? The PROGRESSIVE ARABESQUE fare is luckily saved by its underpinned chorus!

In accordance with tradition started in the previous album an old HIT of Habib is reinvented. “Marde Tanhaaye Shab”, appearing here first in its alternative CLUB-ensemble!

“Havaaye Gerye” with its BANDARI-inspired beats comes to accompany Mohamad in his vocal performance but manage to pass him by!!

Now time for a smooth and soft AMERICANA song called “Zendegi”, in style with Habib’s hits from the 80’s! Many young Iranian artists inside the country have adopted AMERICANA but Habib and Ahmad Reza Nabizadeh are the two artists who attend to this narrow-niche style in the LA-industry and surprisingly with relative success!

Mohamad delivers the only BALLAD on the album in mid-tempo! Almost a TRIP-HOP/BRISTOL FASHION track with a pleasant groove.

And finally the grand FINALE! And what better piece for the occasion than “Marde Tanhaaye Shab” in an ambient PINK FLOYD-ian version more faithful to its original, thanks to my good friend Erwin! I admit that when Erwin played this song in its earlier stages of development for me I wasn’t convinced about the harmony between Habib’s rigid voice and the slick nature of the music but as time went by and more mature the production became it also grew on me! Can a guitar-solo ever get “too long”??? I think NOT (while having my eyes shut, my cheek poked with my tongue and hitting the strings on my air-guitar)!!!

The DVD features far less video-clips than “Javuni”:

- “Eshaare”
- “Lahze”
- “Shirin & Frahad”
- “Baroon”
- “Javuni”
- TV promos

“Khodeshe” looks and sounds like a direct sequel to “Javuni” with an almost identical construction, constellation and configuration! This album could have easily been recorded at the same time as the previous album’s material and then put aside for a future release. I personally find the music on “Khodeshe” stronger that the predecessor’s but one single factor prevents it from working its way all the way to the top-notch, and that is the inconsistent vocal performance by Mohamad! While he had a relatively strong and promising start in “Javuni” his performance lacks energy and charisma in some of the songs on “Khodeshe”. And it’s a shame, because as I mentioned before the musical material on “Khodeshe” is fare more potent and defined than those on “Javuni”. If only the vocal-performances and -settings had been equally elaborate and solid! Other than that the production holds an almost same HIGH QUALITY and QUANTITY (though not in the music-video department) as its predecessor with Habib and his songs as the gems! Not a “Collector’s Item” per se like “Javuni” was, but still solid enough to merit it a rating of HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Artistic Performance: ++
Artistic Ambition: ++
Commercial Potential: +++
Technical Quality: ++
Aesthetic Presentation: ++
Ethical Adherence: +++
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