RAMA - “Rama”

Setaareye Sahar (Iran)
2004 (1382)

The main PRACTICAL downside of writing music reviews, is that your beloved private music collection gets to be constantly rearranged and reshuffled! In this righteous quest for answers and references, not only does your archive lose the most simplest kind of order, but some of your albums too (cassette tapes in particular) tend to get lost somewhere beneath the ever-growing mess of PLASTIC and VINYL! One of the albums that managed to get away from this critic’s razor sharp pen last year, was the debut album by RAMA (not the young vocalist with the same name, who released his debut album around the same time), the Iran-based Girl/Boy band. Led by their “maestro” Mehrdad Pazouki (whom I suspect being related to THE Pazouki) have the boys and ONE girl of the group prepared their self-titled album with 9 tracks. All music is composed by Pazouki himself and for the lyrics stand Akbar Azad, Shahram Gholami, Raha Roshan and a piece by the late Fereydoun Moshiri. RAMA even features Behrouz Saffarian and Behnam Abtahi as musicians.

A rather below-the-average LATIN-inspired ”Aakharin Didaar” opens the album, with an actual semi-duet between the male and female singers of the band! What the producer has done is to reverse the positions of the vocals in order to let the female voice topple the male counterpart. So, as a result it sound almost like if she is doing the ”lead” on the song, while the whole things has been conducted in accordance with the ministry’s guide-lines! ..very clever indeed!

”Sokoot” is a FUNKY-JAZZY song a la Behrouz Saffarian, which intends to revive the psychedelic sound of the 70’s by sounding as a JAM or ”live recording”! The crew fail, however, to incorporate some CHARM while they’re at it!

Followed by ”Meraaj”, another psychedelic song with an intro in style with PINK FLOYD’s ”Echoes”. Except for the rather interesting start, this mellow MYSTICAL song has little to offer as innovative, even though it’s without a doubt the album’s better song so far!

”Sarzamin Maadari” starts as a soft PIANO-led ADULT CONTEMPORARY song a la Mohammad Nouri, with lyrics and vocal-performances reminiscent of today’s ”Christian HARMONY-POP”!

Derived from the DRAMATIC sound of the 70’s comes ”Goriz (Setaareye Koor)”, a clearly more elaborate composition and arrangement compared to its fellow tracks! In style with A. R. Assar’s EPIC-sound.

A KENNY G. inspired ”Royaa” opens mellow and SMOOTH-JAZZY, but turns soon into another ADULT CONTEMPORARY song, this time accompanied by an actual rhythm! Although rather lovely, one can’t help to sense some pretentiousness! Perhaps it’s the Christian HARMONY-POP references that convey that?!

After a whole line of mellow and airy songs comes a rather rhythmic fare entitled ”Parvaaz Baa Khorshid”, which despite its nice vocal-performances falls on its flat composition and (yet another airy) arrangement!

”Gharibe”, a messy RETRO-ROMANTIC fare with a semi-JAZZY jargon, follows up the previous track as an equally weak successor!

AND!! To finish off the whole thing just as ”below-the-average” that it once opened comes an Instrumental version of ”Sokoot”.

What can I say, this is truly a ”BELOW-THE-AVERAGE” album in terms of CHARM and HIT-potential! The strength it enjoys in its lyrics and vocals, is completely distant from its rather plain and arguably pretentious compositions! Whatever intention Mehrdad Pazouki may have had with RAMA, his OPUS neither satisfies the academic society, neither does it attract the fans of progressive music! Unless you are truly looking for a rather unsuccessful attempt to POP, by a classically trained and academic team …then feel free to skip RAMA! I personally would not have missed it if it hadn’t surfaced from the colossal pile that once used to be my highly organised archive!

Review by: Pourya E.

Reviews described herein are mere opinions, and must be construed in that manner only! In other words they are not absolute!