Shahryar is back with his fourth album entitled "Saraab". A little later than anticipated actually, considering the tight release schedule of his previous albums with sometimes less than a year between! The album is a collaboration with Omid Olyaie, Arien, Mehdi Gholizadeh, Saeed Jouyan and just like in the previous album an elaborate collaboration with Roma Kanyan as the sole arranger. "Saraab" features 8 tracks and is released on MZM Records.
"Gandomak" kicks off the album with its Indo-Afghan inspired beat and Retro-POP flow. The song is a bit POPier than what we are used to hear from Shahryar! But it suits his voice just fine and as a matter of fact neutralises it tendency to dominate with the vibrato!
Latin American rhythms and horns open up "Bemoon", a more traditional song in line with Shahryar's previous work. The arrangement is a bit too conventional and underwhelming for being by Roma!
Already a ballad on the menu, one with a 70's flair and pinch of the old-school soundtrack style of the Iranian pre-rev cinema. "Baghalam Kon" is a bit uneven and undefined in its formation.
Suddenly things get much more interesting as "Ghesseye Eshgh" dances its way in with ARABESQUE influences! Unfortunately the song loses some of its boost around the chorus but still a catchy song with a good HIT potential. We've heard a few experiments with the ARABESQUE in Roma's recent works but this one feels a bit underdeveloped in comparison!
"Rofooze" is a PROGRESSIVE song in line with similar songs on the previous albums. Unfortunately even though the song has a good composition and foundation the arrangement keeps it inside the box!
Back to the LATINO/GITANO influences for a mellow and romantic song. I'm sure many of Shahryar's fans and of course fans of the genre will appreciate "Havaaye Parvaaz", even though its uneven and undefined!
Next comes another PROGRESSIVE track, this time a flowing HOUSE fare called "Jaadooye To". The arrangement carries the song well and interacts well with the vocals, even though at times showing tendency to overpowering!
And the title-track wraps up the album with an interesting SOUL/JAZZ inspiration, but it soon seizes in favour of an outmoded FUNK-ROCK overtone, perhaps to commemorate the genre's golden days! I wish they had continued with what they started, at least that way it would have left a more lasting impression!
Shahryar's music has never been to such extent non-linear as it is in "Saraab". In fact the music gives a whole new meaning to the title as it is fleeting and stays undefined throughout the album. The core of the album, the raw material, has been of enough good initial potential to create something in the same calibre as the previous titles, the final product however feels few steps far from finished and fully developed! Leaving it vague and raw, like a shadow of its firm predecessors. Roma Kanyan is still to me one of the highest hopes for this regressing industry! He has in the past years showed a great deal of innovation and experimentation, of which very little is manifested in this opus! Its stays safe and when it does show tendency to step out, its pushed back by seemingly hesitation.
I don't really know why those last completing steps weren't taken in "Saraab"'s case, whether due to miscalculation, lack of ambition or miscollaboration. Or perhaps even some other factor, not known to us or even the makers! Nevertheless I still believe in these gentlemen's will and ability to top this work with another one of their high end productions very soon. At least I hope so!
Overall Performance: ++
Artistic Ambition: +
Commercial Potential: ++
Technical Quality: ++
Aesthetic Presentation: --
Ethical Adherence: +++
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