Taraneh Enterprises INC.
The BUTTERFLY is one of the most delicate and BEAUTIFUL creatures on our earth!! It keeps on enchanting us by its colourful wings and graceful flights, spring after spring!! But the fact is that the butterfly is NEVER born a butterfly!! It is rather a caterpillar, that is born with the potential to become a butterfly!! It has to survive the harsh conditions of the nature and go through the “cocoon”-phase of life, before it develops its unique wings and ability to fly!! In a similar manner, is the ARTIST born!! An artist is not an artist by birth!! She/he is a “talented” individual who also must go through the “cocoon”-like phase of theory and practice, in order to “refine” her/his “crude” talents and develop to an artist!! However, there also occur some exceptions!! Maybe not in the butterfly’s case, but apparently in the artist’s case!! While most of the artists step in the arena of music, relatively inexperienced and with experimental creations, there are also some rare and unique cases of perfect BUTTERFLY-BIRTHS!! …Artists who have emerged out of nowhere, with a full-fledged image, intact integrity and personal style!! Afshin is one of these latter artists!! Despite being so young, he has delivered three of the Iranian POP-music-history’s well-produced albums!! Technically and artistically!! And IF he has had a “cocoon”-phase then it must have been a very early and short one, because ever since he emerged as a professional artist with his critically acclaimed debut album “Booye Baroon”, he has showed nothing but amazing talents, skills and a pair of the most full-fledged and colourful “wings” that I’ve ever seen on an artist!!
The multi-talented Afshin is now back with his HIGHLY ANTICIPATED third album, entitled very humbly “Aso Pas”!! With this album has the transition from Shahram Azar to the very talented Kostas Karagiozidis, as the official arranger/producer, been finally completed!! Much of the album’s lyrics and compositions are created by Afshin himself, but there are also collaborations with other artists like Koji Zadori, Babak Roozbeh, Shahriar Khatam, Saeed Dabiri, Davoud Basiri, Hossein Monazavi, Susana and Afshin’s talented brother Amir!! The fact is that “Aso Pas” fell victim for the merciless “file-sharing” phenomenon, by having some of the early versions of its songs leaking out on the Internet before its official world-wide release!! But instead of surrendering to the unfortunate circumstances, Afshin enriched the official track-listing and exalted the original versions in an amazing way!! The PREMIUM-version of “Aso Pas” holds 13 tracks and is released on Taraneh Enterprises Inc..
The album kicks off with “Dooset Daram” a beautiful LATIN POP-song in style with Afshin’s own HIT “Aatish”!! The even-more-rhythmic and melodic successor enjoys the lovely Spanish vocals of Susana Barneuther, just like “Aatish” did!! The female “la la la-s” remind a bit of Eve’s version of Madonna’s “Who’s that Girl”!! This is a song specially done for the ladies’ night out!! Enrique Iglesias eat your heart out (*LOL*)!!
Next comes the first one of my personal favourite tracks from the album!! “Delam Havaato Karde” is an RnB inspired POP song with some influences from the NEPTUNES’ earlier productions!! This is what I call: a SUPER-HIT!! What a GORGEOUS production!! 1st CLASS arrangements!! …”Aakh Delam, …Aakh Delam Havaato Karde Nazaninam”, I just can’t get its hook out of my mind!! And I must say that Amir’s lovely RAP in German is just in place!! Why NOT rap in German??!! (See how my Iranian-European patriotism jumps forth here!!*LOL*) As I have said before, I admire those artists who remain in their geographical domains and “garnish” their music with local influences!! That is EXACTLY what Afshin has done with his music so far!! As a member of the international FREESTYLE-community, I know that GERMANY is the European capital of Freestyle-music with some talented Iranian artists!! Hearing this particular song, I realised that Afshin’s voice would be a marvel in this genre!! Perhaps a more PLANET ROCK-beat driven song for the next album, Afshin jan!!?
“Khoshgel” is an up-beat song with BANDARI-inspired beats!! The song has the Iranian TEEN-POP sound, with the “sting” of an electric guitar!! A tune in style with Black Cats’ “Cat-Man”!! The younger Afshin-fans will definitely ADORE this lovely track!!
It is then followed up by “Kaashki”, a wonderful Greek Arabesque/POP-fare!! When you have such a talented producer, who happens to be of Greek-origin, it would be a mistake not to employ a tune with such catchy Greek influences!!
One of my absolute favourite Marjan-HITS is her up-beat and Afghan-inspired “Sekkeye Maah”!! When I first heard that Afshin was to make a cover of it, I became nothing but exited!! Because even though Afshin had never done any cover-song before that, I just could imagine his voice in the constellation and it had the potentials to be something special!! Let me tell you that I was RIGHT!! Afshin even surpassed my expectations!! His version with ELECTRIFYING guitars and PURLING melodies is done just PERFECTLY!! Every single element is an updated version of the original song’, hand-picked and placed gently in the recreation!! All I can say is: WOW!! A SUPER-HIT, …no doubt about it!!
“To Baraam” is one of my absolute favourite Afshin-HITS!! It has an NRG-etic style that wasn’t represented on Afshin’s second album, unfortunately!! Therefor, I am more than exalted to hear its POWERFUL successor, “Tak-Derakht”!!
The title-track in led by no other instrument than …”Zanboorak”!! Yes yes, …you heard it right!! Very nostalgically and melodically is “Aso Pas” carried!! A self-biographic song?? …Might very well be so!! Very lovely anyway!! In style with Mansour’s “Nazoknaarenji”!!
Next comes another one of the album’s SUPER-HITS!! “Dige Doostam Nadari” is actually very interesting, in the sense that it summarises Afshin’s styles and sounds to their best!! It is obvious that Afshin and I share a common PASSION for the OLD-SCHOOL sound of the legendary “6/8-SHOW”, the 70s and the SMOOTH POP-songs like “Sheytanat”, “Doroughatam Ghashange” and “Che Khoobe Adam Hamishe”!! Where melodies and harmonies got to REIGN SUPREME!! Afshin’s own “Tablo” and “Mitooni”, accompanied now by “Dige Doostam Nadari”, are in fact three worthy successors in this line of songs!! Yet another style that fits Afshin’s voice and vocal-styling PERFECTLY!! Could easily become his TRADEMARK-sound!!
Another style that Afshin masters is the BALLAD!! Basically every previous BALLAD from this man has been a great HIT with his fans!! With a voice of the same “calibre” as Craig David’s, Afshin sings his beautiful “Kheili Vaghte” and opens the doors to lovers’ hearts!!
Even though Afshin has tapped the BANDARI-waters before, with his BANDARI-inspired beats incorporated in his other style and HYBRIDS, he has not performed a BANDARI-fare per definition!! Not yet that is, because “Qoo Leily” has come to start a tradition!!
When I said a “tradition”, I didn’t expect to have the follow-up RIGHT AFTER!(*LOL*)! Just like you can’t dance BANDARI alone, its music too seems to love company!! “Eshghe Jonoobi” is very lovely and GHERRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIII!!!
“Irane Man” is Afshin’s contributory “corner-stone” to the rebuilding of our beloved motherland!! Yet another beautiful BALLAD!!…“Khaste Nabshi Afshin joon”!!!
The album rounds up with a lovely instrumental version of (what I think is) “Kheili Vaghte”!!
It is practically something of an impossible mission for an artist to try to perfect her/his already EXCELLENT style and sound!! Specially after having delivered nothing but “excellence”, all the way from the beginning of her/his career!! But someway, …somehow has Afshin managed to do that!! “Aso Pas” basically covers every single popular style and sound used in Afshin’s two previous albums, but here in some more refined and perfected forms!! Kostas’ arrangements are like a HOT chocolate-sauce, topping a COLD multi-flavour ice-cream!! Afshin’s compositions and Kostas’ arrangements are like “soulmates”!! They complete each other to 110 %!! So complete and perfect that not a single element is out-of-place!! Together they have collected, arranged and served a wide range of “DELICIOUS” melodies!! …EAR-CANDY anyone??! What is even more impressing is the common denominator of the album’s ÜBER-HITS (just to incorporate some German!!*LOL*)!! And that common denominator is Afshin’s own compositions!! The fact is that all the styles and songs featured on “Aso Pas” are of HIGH QUALITY, but STILL Afshin’s own compositions are another CLASS for themselves!! I truly wish that Afshin would consider to compose an entire album by himself, because he has an incredible sense for, not only HIT-manufacturing, but also UNIQUE melodies that FIT his voice and vocal-styling perfectly!! He has an unique ability to unite the contemporary POP sounds with the nostalgic feelings!! “Aso Pas” is the first album released in 2004, but by the way it has managed to deliver and meet all the expectations through its HIGH QUALITY and HIGH QUANTITY, it might very well be the ALBUM OF THE YEAR that I am currently reviewing!!! “Aso Pas” is a MODERN MASTERPIECE, highly recommended to ANYONE who has even the slightest interest in music!!
In closing, with the question of “file-sharing” in mind, I want to seize the opportunity and underline the necessity for our “sincere” support of the “authentic” Iranian art and artists! If you have a favourite artist, who you consider as “ambitious” and “sincere”, then why not enjoy her/his talent and art “fairly”?!? Let’s be “Patrons of the Art” and contribute to the survival and evolution of OUR music, by supporting it in any way that we can!! …Thank you in advance!!
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